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The Hungry Empire

A new book that takes readers on a culinary journey round the British Empire has been written by a former College junior research fellow.

Lizzie Collingham's The Hungry Empire: how Britain’s quest for food shaped the modern world  (The Bodley Head) is published on 10 August and will feature as Book of the Week on Radio 4 from Monday 14 August.

Twenty meals take the reader on a culinary journey around the British Empire from sailors eating their last meal of salt cod on the Mary Rose, to a Dickensian Christmas plum pudding. Sample iguana curry with diamond miners in Guyana and raise a rum punch toast to liberty with American revolutionaries.

Talking to us about her time at Jesus College, Lizzie said: "My position as a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus provided me with congenial colleagues and the time and space to discover that the things I loved most about an academic life were research and writing. I did not want to leave for a  'proper' academic job and I was fortunate to meet John Cornwell who is a Fellow Commoner. John read my PhD thesis on the British body in India, decided that I could write and introduced me to Clare Alexander who is now my agent. Without his belief in me and his practical help I would not have had the courage to embark on a writing career that suits me perfectly and in which I am extremely happy."

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