The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook

I’m happy to announce the publication of my new book: ‘The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook’!<
(Scroll down for the reference list which wasn’t printed in the book because of the page count limit

For this book I jumped into my collection of cookery books of not only the early 20th century in which Downton is set but also the Victorian era when our most beloved cook Mrs Patmore was training as a chef. I made a little excursion into the oldest cookery book in the English language for the first festive recipe for goose and witnessed the curiosity for continental cooking around the late 1920’s.

I also uncovered a celebration of strong women, from the extraordinary position of Mrs Patmore as a female chef in a period when men were still lord and master in the kitchens of the aristocratic households. But also Lady Edith’s story of breaking loose from the limitations that come with her social position as a woman from a great family pursuing a career as a columnist and later as the editor. She symbolises the modern times ahead in which women will not only gain more freedoms, but also the right to vote — with the suffragette movement in the headlines. Many of the recipes I chose came from cookbooks written by women, and some women, like England’s first freelance food journalist; Florence White, and Lady Agnes Jekyll were very much like Lady Edith. Others were cookbooks written by aristocratic ladies like Lady Cora Crawley with recipes gifted to them by other ladies of her circle.

This book is a celebration of Christmas, showing you where those traditional old customs come from and how some of them aren’t very old at all. Popularised by Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ todays Christmas is what he made of it. Reviving long lost customs and placing family at the centre of it all. This book praises history but also looks at change. There’s patriotic pudding and emblematic beef, stunning pies and unexpected treats seasoned with many stories which makes this book not only very Downton, but also very Regula.

By Regula Ysewijn
With a foreword by Dr Annie Gray
Release 27-29 oktober, Weldon Owen US, Titan Books UK, DK Verlag Germany, Panini Italy

Flemish food writer and culinary historian Regula Ysewijn has brought to life not only the dishes of the Downton era but also some of the magnificent edible delights of earlier centuries. It is a brilliantly researched book full of tasty treats. I do hope you enjoy it.
— Julian Fellowes, Creator of Downton Abbey
This is a beautiful book that goes beyond the expected foods of Christmas to show us delights we’ve long forgotten. Regula’s customary combination of solid research and gastronomic flair has unearthed a world of often surprising recipes seen through the lens of Downton Abbey.
— Dr. Annie Gray, Food Historian


Reference list of books consulted

As we reached our page count there was no room for my reference list, hence why I am giving it here for those geeks like me who usually skip right to the bibliography before reading the actual book.

  • A Book of Cookrye, AW, 1584
  • A Book Of Scents And Dishes, Dorothy Allhusen,  1920
  • A Christmas Garland, John C. Nimmo, 1885
  • A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, 1843
  • A Christmas Tree, Charles Dickens, 1850
  • A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature, David Lyle Jeffrey, 1992
  • A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End …,Washington Irving, 1809
  • A Mummers’ Play from Limpley Stoke, Academic Journal Offprint from – Wiltshire Archaeology 83, Felicity Gilmour, 1990
  • A Right Merrie Christmas. London: Leadenhall Press, ca. 1890; repr. New York: Benjamin Blom, John Ashton, 1968
  • Antiquitates Vulgares: Or, The Antiquities of the Common People,  Henry Bourne, 1725
  • Apician morsels; or, Tales of the table, kitchen and larder by Secundus, Dick Humelbergius, 1829
  • Beef Cattle Production and Trade, edited by Lewis Kahn, David Cottle, 2020
  • Book of Salads, Alfred Suzanne; C. Herman Senn, 1906
  • Cakes and Ale, Edward Spencer, 1913
  • Christian, Roy, Old English Customs, Roy Christian, 1972
  • Christmas carols ancient and modern, Tomlins, William Lawrence, 1844-1930, edited by William Sandys, 1830
  • Christmas Carols, ancient and modern by William Sandys (1792–1874), 1833
  • Christmas entertainments: wherein is described abundance of fiddle-faddle-stuff : curious memoirs of old Father Christmas : illustrated with many diverting cuts, Field & Tuer, 1740
  • Christmas Husbandry Fare, Thomas Tusser, 1515- 1580
  • Christmas in the Olden Time by Sir Walter Scott, 1886
  • Christmas With The Poets, a collection of songs, carols, and descriptive verses relating to the festival of Christmas, from the Anglo-Norman period to the present time / embellished with fifty-three tinted illustrations by Birket Foster, and with initial letters and other ornaments, 1855
  • Christmas, His Masque, Benjamin Jonson, Alternate Title: The Masque of Christmas Date first performed: Dec 1616- Date first published: 1640
  • Christmas: Its Origin and Associations Together with Its Historical Events and Festive Celebrations During Nineteen Centuries, William Francis Dawson, 1902
  • Christmas: Its Origin and Associations: Together with Its Historical Events and Festive …in the nineteenth century, William Francis Dawson. E. Stock, 1902
  • Christmasse carolles newely enprinted, Wynkyn de Worde, This manuscript was previously known as “Douce Fragment 94b, 1521
  • Clavis calendaria; or, A compendious analysis of the calendar, Volume 2, John Brady, 1815
  • Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery, Marion Harland, 1874
  • Curye on Inglysch (Middle English recipes), C.B. Hieatt en S. Butler, 1985
  • Diary, Samuel Pepys
  • Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Bede, Oxford university press, 1999
  • Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Second Edition), P.J. Hudson, in 2003
  • English Presbyterian Eloquence, Thomas Lewis, 1720
  • Epigrams theological, philosophical, and romantick: also the Socratick session, or, The arraignment and conviction of Julius Scaliger : with other select poems, Samuel Sheppard, 1651
  • Farmers Almanac, 18th century, exact date unknown, Online edition over at:
  • Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, Thomas Tusser, 1585, edition. 1812
  • Fletcher’s Poems and Translations, 1656
  • Food in England, Dorothy Hartley, 1954
  • Good things in England, Florence White, 1932
  • Great British Gardeners: From the Early Plantsmen to Chelsea Medal Winners, Vanessa Berridge, 2018
  • Hesperides, Robert Herrick, 1648,  As reproduced in: William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868)
  • Italian Regional Cooking, Ada Boni, translated by Maria Langdale and Ursula Whyte, 1969
  • Kalm’s account of his visit to England : on his way to America in 1748, Pehr Kalm, 1892
  • Kitchen Essays, Agnes Jekyll, 1922
  • Langland, 1340, Piers Plowman
  • London Bewitched, 1708
  • London Labour and the London Poor, Volume 1, Henry Mayhew, 1851
  • London images: John Camden Hotten, 1868
  • Luncheon and Dinner Sweets, C. Herman Senn, 1911
  • Mary Tudor: The First Queen. London: Little, Brown, Porter, Linda, 2007
  • Mémoires et observations faites par un voyageur en Angleterre, Misson Francis Maximilian, 1698
  • Modern Cookery, for Private Families, Eliza Acton, 1845
  • Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, Isabella Beeton, 1861
  • New century cookbook, Charles Herman Senn, 1904
  • Nursery Rhymes of England, James Orchard, 1842
  • Observations on Popular Antiquities: Chiefly Illustrating the Origin of Our Vulgar Customs, Ceremonies, and Superstitions, Volume 1, John Brand, 1813
  • Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great Britain: Chiefly …, Volume 1 By John Brand, 1813
  • Oxford Night Caps, by Richard Cook, Published 1835
  • Oxford Night Caps: Being a Collection of Receipts for Making Various Beverages Used in the University, Richard Cook Slatter & Rose, 1871
  • Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed., 1876–79
  • Poems on several occasions, and translations: wherein the first and second books of Virgil’s Æneis are attempted, in English. Thomas Fletcher, 1692.
  • Reliquiæ Antiquæ: Scraps from Ancient Manuscripts, Illustrating Chiefly Early English Literature and the English Language, Volume 1, Thomas Wright, James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps William Pickering, 1841, reprinted by Norwood Editions, Norwood, PA, 1973
  • Round about our Coal Fire, or, Christmas Entertainments … with some curious Memories of Old Father Christmas; Shewing what Hospitality was in former Times, and how little there remains of it at present. – 1734, reprinted 1796, Anonymous (‘Dick Merryman’)
  • Royal Museum Greenwich: – mention of Christmas pudding gifted to soldiers by Lady Rawlinson, wife of Lieutenant General Sir Henry Rawlinson
  • Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII.  1876–79
  • Songs of the Nativity, William Henry Husk, 1868
  • Soyer’s Standard Cookery: A Complete Guide to the Art of Cooking Dainty, Varied, and Economical Dishes for the Household, 1912, [Soyer, Nicolas
  • Spices, salt and aromatics in the English kitchen, Elizabeth David,
  • Sports and Pastimes of Merry England”, 1859, Thomas Miller “
  • Sports and Pastimes of Merry England”:Thomas Miller
  • The Art of Cookery, John Mollard, 1803
  • The Art of Cookery…, Hannah Glasse, 1747
  • The ‘Boar’s Head Carol’ and Folk Tradition in Folklore, James E. Spears, 1974,
  • The accomplished cook, Robert May, 1660
  • THE ARRAIGNMENT Conviction and Imprisonment of CHRISTMAS,1645, Simon Minc’d Pye,
  • The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in …, Volume 2 By Robert Chambers, 1832
  • The book of vegetable cookery, Erroll Sherrson, 1931
  • The complete practical cook: or, a new system of the whole art and mystery of cookery, Charles Carter, 1730
  • The Cookery Book of Lady Clark of Tillypronie, Catherine Frances Frere, 1909
  • The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director, Richard Bradley, 1727
  • The Crayon: Volume 7, William James Stillman, John Durand, 31 December 1859
  • The Curiosities of Ale & Beer: An Entertaining History, John Bickerdyke, 1889
  • The diary of a country parson, edited by John Beresford, James Woodforde, 1740-1803.
  • The diary of John Evelyn; by Evelyn, John, 1620-1706; Bray, William, 1736-1832
  • The Dudley Book of Cookery and Household Recipes, Georgiana Countess of Dudley, 1909
  • The Franklin’s Tale, The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, 1387 -1400
  • The Gentle Art of Cookery, Mrs C. F. Leyel and Miss Olga Hartley, 1925
  • The Gentleman’s Magazine, Volume 94, Part 2; Volume 136, A. Dodd and A. Smith, 1824
  • The Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle, Karl Blind, “Boars Head Dinner at Oxford, and a Germanic Sun-God,” in John Nichols, ed. , Volume 242, 1877
  • The Gentleman’s Magazine, december, 1733, p 652
  • The Great War cookbook’, May Byron’s, 1915, re-issued 2014
  • The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria, Dr Annie Gray, 2017
  • The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric …By Al Ridenour, 2016
  • The letters of Charles Lamb, with a sketch of his life. The poetical works. Charles Lamb, Thomas Noon, 1838
  • The Modern Baker, Confectioner and Caterer. A Practical and Scientific Work for the Baking and Allied Trades. In 6 volumes. John Kirkland, 1913
  • The Modern Cook, Charles Elmé Francatelli, 1845
  • The New Oxford Book of Carols, Hugh Keyte, Andrew Parrott, 1992
  • The official Downton Abbey Cookbook, Dr Annie Gray, 2019
  • The Oxford Companion to sugar and sweets, Darra Goldstein, 2015
  • The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth …, John Nichols, 1823
  • The Riches of Chaucer: In which His Impurities Have Been Expunged, His Spelling Modernised, His Rhythm Accentuated and His Obsolete Terms Explained; Also Have Been Added a Few Explanatory Notes and a New Memoir of the Poet, Volume 1, E. Wilson, 1835
  • The Royal English and Foreign Confectionery Book, Charles Elmé Francatelli, 1862
  • The Victorian Gardene, Caroline Ikin,  2014
  • The Vindication of Christmas, John Taylor, 1652
  • The Works of Jonathan Swift, Containing Interesting and Valuable Papers, Not Hitherto Published … With Memoir of the Author, Volume 1, Jonathan Swift, Thomas Roscoe H.G. Bohn, 1843
  • The works of Mr. John Cleveland containing his poems, orations, epistles, collected into one volume, with the life of the author. Cleveland, John, 1613-1658.
  • The Book of Christmas,Thomas Hervey, 1836
  • Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray, 1847-48
  • Women who cry Oranges, from Works, Jonathan Swift, 1755
  • Works of Robert Herrick. vol II. Alfred Pollard, ed. London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891
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