Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery Oral History Project

Interview with David Sutton



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Technological University Dublin


David Sutton (born 18 October 1950) grew up in Stourbridge, a market town in the West Midlands, moving to Saffron Waldon before his studies and career took him from Leicester to Dublin, Sheffield, Paris, Coventry and Reading, where he now lives. He was awarded his PhD in 1978 from the University of Leicester, where his tutor and mentor was the poet G. S. Fraser. David trained as a librarian at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Sheffield. He worked at the British Library for a period before studying food history under Professor Jean-Louis Flandrin at the Université de Paris Huit Vincennes from 1978 to 1980. After his studies in Paris, David returned to his previous career, and is currently Director of Research Projects, based in the University Library, at the University of Reading. In 1982 David became the senior research officer of the Location Register of English Manuscripts and Letters project. Since 1984, David has been the UK editor of WATCH (Writers Artists and Their Copyright Holders), a joint project between the University of Reading and the University of Texas at Austin.

David’s interest in food history has been a constant research pursuit since those years in Paris. Introduced to the Oxford Symposium through his friendship with Paul Levy, he first presented a paper on English Food Proverbs at the 2009 Symposium on Food and Language, becoming a trustee of the Oxford Symposium in 2013, and the Symposium’s Treasurer in 2015. His publications include works on Location Registers of literary manuscripts and a contribution to the Global History of Food series published by Reaktion Books on the history of figs, published in 2014.

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culinary history, oral history, interviews, gastronomy


Arts and Humanities



Interview with David Sutton