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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

A thesis submitted to the Technological University of Dublin in part fulfilment of therequirement for award of Masters (M.A.) in Gastronomy and Food Studies, May 2019.


In her paper ‘A Cultural Field in the Making: Gastronomy in 19th-Century France’, Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson argues that the field of gastronomy came into existence in the middle of the nineteenth century in France. This field of gastronomy was constructed from two elements, the significance that gastronomy, defined at the time as a structured set of culinary practices, had attained in France by the nineteenth century, but also, the contribution of writers of culinary discourse who wrote about this gastronomy. These writers came from different disciplines and included the realist fiction writer Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), whose work Ferguson describes as ethnographic, the scientific description of cultures and people. This thesis takes the premise of a realist fiction writer, Balzac, contributing to the gastronomic field, and extends it to P. G. Wodehouse and his character, the French chef, Anatole. The thesis asks whether Wodehouse’s depiction of Anatole is ethnographically accurate and can, therefore, be said to contribute to and extend the gastronomic field. In doing so, it underlines the interaction between literature and the gastronomic field and may prompt investigation into further contributions made to the gastronomic field by other realist fiction writers.