The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities, and Meaning of Table Manners

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Harper Collins, Jun 26, 2012 - Literary Collections - 466 pages
17 Reviews

The author of the beloved Much Depends on Dinner turns her acute eye and irresistable wit from the foods we eat to the way in which we eat them. The Rituals of Dinner explores our revealing, colourful, and complex world at the table, illuminating the spread with examples from formal dinners to picnics, from cannibalism to the Eucharist, and from the sublime to the ridiculous--depending on where you sit.

When we eat together, we bring our culture with us. Throughout history, table manners have been one way of domesticating some of the wilder aspects of human behaviour. In showing us why we act as we do, Margaret Visser provides insight into how we handle that mightiest of necessities--dining--and its most potent symbols.

  

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Review: The Rituals of Dinner

User Review  - Emily - Goodreads

It was really slow moving, it jumped around and didn't have a plot line, and I couldn't get in to it. I got to page 200, so I did give it a try. Maybe I'm missing something, but it just wasn't that great. Read full review

Review: The Rituals of Dinner

User Review  - William - Goodreads

Encyclopedic and always interesting but unfortunately a bit disorganized in the narrative flow. Read full review

Contents

KNIVES FORKS SPOONS
SEQUENCE
HELPINGS
CARVING
THE RED THE WHITE AND THE GOLD
TABLE TALK
FEEDING FEASTS AND FEMALES
ALL GONE

INHIBITIONS
ASPIRATIONS
3The Pleasure of Your Company
COMPANY
HOSTS AND GUESTS
INVITATIONS
COMING RIGHT IN
TAKING OUR PLACES
4Dinner is Served
THE FIRST BITE
TAKING NOTE OF OUR SURROUNDINGS
THE PROSPECT BEFORE US
FINGERS
CHOPSTICKS
5No Offence
POLLUTION
THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE MOUTH
THE PROPRIETIES OF POSTURE AND DEMEANOUR
POSTSCRIPTHow Rude Are We?
References
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgements
About the Author
Copyright
About the Publisher
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

MARGARET VISSER is an award-winning author and essayist. Her previous five books, all bestsellers, have met with international acclaim. Much Depends on Dinner won the Glenfiddich Prize for Food Book of the Year and was named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly and The New York Times. The Rituals of Dinner won the IACP Literary Food Writing Award and the Jane Grigson Award, and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her most recent book, The Geometry of Love, also the subject of a prize-winning documentary film, was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize. A professor of classics at York University for 18 years, she now devotes her time to research and writing. Visser lives in Toronto, Paris and the south of France.

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