In 1842, the average life expectancy for a labourer in Liverpool was just 15 years. The condition of public health in Britain during the nineteenth century from poor sanitation, housing and nutrition resulted in repeated outbreaks of typhus and cholera and prompted the government to usher in an era of welfare and state intervention to improve the health of the nation.The establishment of the National Training School of Cookery in London in 1873 was part of this wave of reform. The school trained cookery teachers to be instructors in schools, hospitals and the armed services, replacing the nineteenth-century laissez-faire attitude to nutrition and forcing health and diet to become public issues. Here Yuriko Akiyama reveals for the first time how cookery came to be seen as an important part of medical care and diet, revolutionising the nation's health. She assesses the practical impact of nutrition in hospitals, schools and the military and explores the many challenges and struggles faced by those who undertook work to educate the nation in the complex areas of sanitation, medicine, food supply and general habits.
Yuriko Akiyama completed her PhD at Kings College, University of London.
1. Health Reformers and Cookery Schools in nineteenth-century Britain; 2. Cookery for Poor Girls; 3. Cookery Education, Mothercare and Schoolchildren; 4. Nightingale, Luckes and Feeding the Sick; 5. Nursing Instruction and Hospital Cookery; 6. Cooking and the Health of the Army: from the Crimea to the Great War. 7. Cooking in the Royal Navy; 8. Naval Hospital and Sick Berth Cookery before 1914; Conclusion.