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

by Margaret Visser

Hardcover, 1991




New York : Grove Weidenfeld, 1991.


"The book progresses like a feast. Read it, because you'll never look at a table knife the same way again." -The New York Times Book Review This award-winning work by Margaret Visser is a wry and remarkable exploration of the way we eat. Solidifying her standing as a preeminent observer and scholar of everyday life, Visser takes on the sweeping history of table manners, from the civilizations of ancient Greece and medieval Europe to the ancient Ainu people of Japan and the cannibalism of the South Pacific. She writes of the development of mealtime manners across societies, the surprising origins of tableware, and the many cultural idiosyncrasies that surround the preparation and consumption of food. Blending folklore, sociology, history, and humor, The Rituals of Dinner is a feast of beguiling fact and observation on the origins and evolution of one of our most primal rituals: the meal.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member herschelian
A fascinating study of table manners, how they evolved, why we need them and how they differ from country to country, age to age.
LibraryThing member gmicksmith
The first book that comes to mind on this topic is by Norbert Elias. In this work the author shows how civilization developed rituals around eating. It is in this vein that the book was written about the origins, evolution, eccentricities, and meaning of table manners.



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