Paris a Table: 1846 (Hardback)
  • Paris a Table: 1846 (Hardback)
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Paris a Table: 1846 (Hardback)

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Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 14/06/2018
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Paris a Table: 1846 is the first English translation of a seminal book in the literature of nineteenth-century gastronomy, a work described by Le Monde as "the richest view of Balzac's time seen from the table." It was written by the journalist Eugene Briffault, well-known in his day as a theater critic and chronicler of contemporary Paris, but also as a bon-vivant, celebrated for his ability to quaff a magnum of champagne from a bell jar in a single draft and well-qualified to write authoritatively about the culinary culture of Paris. Focusing on the manners, customs, and "moeurs" of the dining scene, the author takes the reader from the opulence of a dinner at the Rothschilds through every social stratum down to the laborer eating on the streets. He surveys the restaurants of the previous generation and his own-from the most elegant to the lowest dive-along with the eating habits of the bourgeoisie, the importance and variety of banquets, the institutional meal, and even the plight of "people who do not dine." Briffault was also a fine storyteller, and the book is a compendium of culinary anecdotes, from the tantrums of a king deprived of his spinach to the tragedy of "the friendliest pig that was ever seen." The edition also includes the humorous drawings of the caricaturist Bertall, artwork that cleverly reinforces the witty and ironic tone that pervades the text. Along with an introduction -which provides the first modern biography of the author and analyses the place of Paris a Table in the literary culture of the time-the text is copiously annotated, acquainting readers with the events and characters that appear in the narrative and providing an entryway to the author's Paris, the city Walter Benjamin characterized as "the capital of the nineteenth century."

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190842031
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 414 g
Dimensions: 217 x 148 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is a fascinating and amusing book. * Connexion *
An eye-opening chronicle ... [Briffault's] book provide[s] often acerbic commentary on the scene of his time, when Paris was considered to be the center of the culinary world. It is filled with observations that still apply, like how the newly affluent display money but no taste, how female cooks are undervalued. * New York Times Food Section *
History buffs and Francophiles get to nerd out in Paris a Table ....Briffault has (very funny) strong opinions about how his countrymen dine... Translator J. Weintraub does an excellent job of relaying Briffault'illustrative descriptions for the 21st century reader. * Bon Appetit (Culture) *
This is a must-read for social- and cultural-history buffs, especially those with a keen interest in food and eating habits. * Mark Knoblauch, Bookslist *

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