Posts Categorized: Early-modern-life


Savoring the seasons and Lettice Pudsey’s fritters

Food is intimately connected to climate and season. It was for Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and it is for us today. Beautiful, local produce is once again available in the northeast now that spring is turning into early summer. In Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost, Berowne insists that all things have their season: “At Christmas I… Continue Reading »


Elizabeth I and the Qing Empress Xiaozhuang

Like Elizabeth, Xiaozhuang was a woman with intellectual and political interests, attaining the powerful position of Empress Dowager in Qing China.


Tastes of the Mediterranean: Italian food before Italy

Italian regions share a culinary history that is rooted in the ingredients, tastes, and techniques that came out of early-modern innovations, explorations, and cultural movements.


A Guide to Ladies: Hannah Woolley’s missing book emerges from the archives

One of Hannah Woolley’s books has sat hidden in plain sight at the Folger since 1990—included in the Folger online catalog, but missing from an international database that scholars often use to search for early English books. It is the only known copy in the world.



Seed cake inspired by Thomas Tusser

See a 17th-century recipe for seed cake inspired by the farmer poet Thomas Tusser. Ingredients include rosewater, caraway seeds, and sherry.


Citrus and sugar: Making marmalade with Hannah Woolley

Hannah Woolley’s 17-century recipe for marmalade captures the flavors of exotic citrus with the preservative power of sugar, which had only recently been made widely available to upper- and middle-class British people.