British historical novelist Martine Bailey inspired by 18th century recipe books
Martine Bailey is a British historical novelist. Her latest book, An Appetite for Violets is a historical suspense novel inspired by eighteenth-century household books of recipes. It begins when a young cook, Biddy Leigh, is forced to leave her beloved kitchen at Mawton Hall and accompany her new mistress on a journey to Italy. Biddy takes with her an old book of recipes, The Cook's Jewel, in which she records food and recipes and also her observations of the journey. During the research process Martine Bailey studied with food historian Ivan Day and experienced Georgian food and fashion at firsthand with a historic re-enactment society. She has also recently spent some time in New Zealand on a creative arts scholarship at Muriwai Earthskin. An Appetite for Violets, published by Hodder and Stoughton goes on sale on 8 July.