17 November, 2009

Cooking the Books

Cooking the Books is the blog of the Tudor Kitchens cookery project at Hampton Court Palace.

Learn how they interpret original recipes like this one:

Roast Beef

Salmon Fress Boiled
Capon Stewed
Ryse of Genoa

13 November, 2009

Hendrick Avercamp and the Little Ice Age

A relaxing way to spend a cold winter evening is to pour a (large) glass of sherry and get stuck into a jigsaw featuring one of Hendrick Avercamp's wonderful paintings of 17th century Dutch winter landscapes.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has posted an excellent video podcast on Avercamp's paintings to go with its forthcoming exhibition "Hendrick Avercamp: The Little Ice Age". Curator Pieter Roelofs zooms in on details to show life on the ice.

02 November, 2009

Virtual Exhibitions of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France

I recently stumbled the Virtual Exhibitions page of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (BNF to its friends), which conveniently has an English translation button.

The site a) looks fab and b) has plenty of interesting content.

Enlightenment ("Lumieres") charts "the passage from obscuranticism to free thought and free actions, illuminated by reason" from the mid-C18th onwards . The presentation is grouped around the themes of religion, science, the individual, public space, the political order, universality, and heritage.

There are plenty of pertinent quotes, and I like this one from Voltaire (picture above):

"If England had only one religion, despotism would have to be feared; if she had two, they would cut each other's throats, but since there are thirty, the English live in peace with one another." (1734)

Also to enjoy are beautifully presented expositions on Medieval Bestiary and Medieval Gastronomy.