Eliza Acton: The Tonbridge food writer and cook who changed the way we eat
A lecture by Annabel Abbs for the Tennant Lecture Series
Monday 5 June 2023
Drinks in the E M Forster Theatre Foyer from 7.30pm
Lecture in the E M Forster Theatre at 8pm
The poet, Eliza Acton, had never boiled an egg before arriving in Tonbridge. But between 1835 and 1845, she wrote the world’s first modern cookery book from her Bordyke kitchen. The best-selling recipe book changed the way British families cooked and ate, and is cited as a formative influence on the likes of Elizabeth David and Delia Smith. So who was Eliza Acton? Why were Tonbridge and Kent so important to her work? And how did she become so forgotten?
Annabel Abbs is the author of the international best-seller ‘The Language of Food’, which tells the story of Eliza and her assistant, Ann Kirby, and has been optioned by CBS. In this talk, Annabel will explain how she found and researched the extraordinary life of Eliza Acton, and why Acton’s cookery book is still ranked by chefs as one of the most influential recipe books in history.
This event is fully accessible.
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