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From Dickens to Downton: Victorian and Edwardian Food

  • The General Society Library 20 West 44th Street New York, NY, 10036 United States (map)
The dining table, decorated and set for Christmas dinner, in the Dining Room at Standen House and Garden, West Sussex ©National Trust Images Chris Lacey 1113219.jpg

From Dickens to Downton: Victorian and Edwardian Food

Presented by Carl Raymond

Journey through British food and dining traditions from the mid-19th century through the early part of the 20th century. Beginning with a look at food references in the work of Charles Dickens which helped establish some of Britain's most cherished culinary traditions, the talk will continue all the way thorough to the world of great town and country houses known to lovers of Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs, this talk will take a look at dining tables both upstairs and downstairs as well as inside and outside the house, including some National Trust properties such as Petworth House and Standen House. Carl Raymond will lead the audience on an illustrated tour of some of the classic dishes of the Victorian and Edwardian periods and discuss their background, how they were prepared and how they were served. In addition, he will discuss cultural and social trends and influences that affected eating and entertaining from the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of World War I.


Carl Raymond is a food historian, writer and museum educator. He has worked at the Merchant's House Museum as well as King Manor Museum in education and programming. Carl trained at French Culinary Institute as well as the Institute for Culinary Education and holds a diploma in Culinary Arts. He has taught recreational cooking classes throughout New York City and has lectured on food history for the Merchant's House Museum, the National Arts Club, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, St. George's Society, Historic Royal Palaces and the English Speaking Union. He was a contributing writer on SAVORING GOTHAM: A Food Lover's Companion to New York City (Oxford University Press) and is at work on his own book, a culinary history of the Gilded Age.

A part of the Royal Oak Foundation's Fall 2018 Lecture Series.

Registration opens 4 September.
St. George’s Society members receive $10 OFF the standard ticket price! Contact us for discount code.

Main Image: Dining Room at Standen House and Garden, West Sussex ©National Trust Images/Chris Lacey
Images (L to R): 
The Kitchen at Petworth House and Park, West Sussex; Victorian ice cream making utensils in the Larder at Petworth House, West Sussex; The kitchen at Lanhydrock, Cornwall - Copper containers sit on the range ©National Trust Images, Andreas von Einsiedel 

Earlier Event: October 3
A Taste of Home
Later Event: October 16
Curry Club