This week’s Inheritance Books are from Caroline James, who is stopping by as part of her tour with Fiction Addiction Book Tours
Hi Caroline, welcome to Inheritance Books.
Hi Rhoda, it’s lovely to be on your blog – thanks so much for hosting me.
It’s my pleasure. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am the youngest of three daughters and was born in Cheshire. My parents had a box-making company and produced boxes for the food industry, my school holidays were spent in the factory working on the many stages of a production line and I still check the design of tucks and flaps on cake boxes today! My sisters are the creative ones, Vicky is a talented artist and Cath has a glass design studio. Writing was always my passion but I never thought I was as bright as my sisters; I flunked school and was a bit of a rebel. I started writing seriously three years ago and today, I wonder why I waited so long. My life has been in the hospitality industry and I’ve had a huge amount of fun, travelling the world on one work-related jaunt or another with a great deal of highs and the occasional steep low. I write fiction set in the industry with lashings of romance.
Sounds like a fabulous career. Which book have you inherited from generations above? Why is it special?
Mrs Beeton’s Every Day Cookery – this copy is inscribed “To Violet, Christmas 1946” and I think was a gift to someone in our family, it came to me from my mother. I am fascinated by the history of food and all things food related and this book has wonderfully illustrated adverts from the time of publication: Shippam’s Meat & Fish Pastes, Turban Fruits, Three Cook’s Soup, and Borwicks Baking Powder etc. The book is a later edition of, ‘Mrs. Beeton’s Household Management’ (a guide to all aspects of running a household in Victorian Britain) and a review in the Daily Mail in 1936 said: “Its chief object was to promote efficiency and economy in the household.” The book was described as ‘the modern housewife’s Guide, Philosopher and Friend.” So if you want to know how to hand-wash your sheets, look after copper utensils or how to dress a crab or bard a partridge – this is the book for you! Where else would we find a recipe for greengage marmalade or which napery to use on a dinner table; so much information, concisely packed into 768 pages in this edition. A little bit of social history that I think is worth preserving and passing on. Compiled by Isabella Beeton, who was 21 years old when she first started writing the book, Isabella determined to abolish household mismanagement. She sadly died aged 28.
Brilliant choice. I’ve got a copy of a Mrs Beeton book, but I think it’s one of the later versions in the franchise.
Cooking for Kings – The life of Antonin Careme the first Celebrity Chef, by Ian Kelly
This is a unique biography of the meteoric rise of Antonin Careme, an orphan of the French Revolution to an international celebrity and provides fascinating below-stairs detail of one of the most interesting periods of European history. Careme seemed to be in the right place at the right time and cooked lavishly for a star-studded array of historical figures from George IV, the Rothschilds, the Romanovs, Napoleon, Empress Josephine and the Prince of Wales. His recipes are the classics of French cuisine – created for the kings and queens for whom he worked and to for me, this book brings the taste and smell of the early 19th century alive. It is an exquisite book and I hope will provide an historical reference for any future foodies in my family.
Sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us Caroline.
Thanks for hosting me here Rhoda xx
You’re very welcome. Good luck with the book. Hopefully you’ll sell loads.