The author of Kitchen Essays (1922) was sister-in-law to the great Gertrude Jekyll, whose biographer wrote that if she 'was an artist-gardener, then Agnes was an artist-housekeeper.' Agnes was a famous hostess (the guests at her first dinner party included Browning, Ruskin and Burne-Jones) and her home, Munstead House, 'was the apogee of opulent comfort and order without grandeur, smelling of pot-pourri, furniture polish and wood smoke'.
During 1921-2 (the now) Lady Jekyll wrote unsigned essays for The Times with titles such as 'Tray Food' and 'Sunday Supper'. The Observer Food Magazine commended 'lovely Persephone Books' for reprinting Kitchen Essays; India Knight in The Shops called it 'beautifully written, sparkling, witty and knowing, an absolute delight to read', while the BBC Food Magazine praised 'this exquisitely reprinted period piece'. To listen to some extracts from Kitchen Essays, read by Helen Garlick for the website Talking of Food, please click here.
To read more about Kitchen Essays go to the Persephone Forum.
Also available as a Persephone Classic.
The endpapers show a 1922 design by the painter George Sheringham called 'Clusters of stylised fruits, flowers and shell motifs', a domestic design with a hint both of the pastoral and the abstract.