Cranks, clerks, and suffragettes: the vegetarian restaurant in British culture and fiction 1880-1914

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Appearing in an 1892 issue of Punch, "The Nebuchadnezzar's Head" was the invention of the magazine's editor, Francis Cowley Burnand, who recognized the vegetarian restaurant as a source of rich comic potential. Moving from table to table, he introduces a cast of eccentric customers: an ardent fiancé initiating his betrothed into the "mysteries" of the flesh-free meal, three clerks debating the respective virtues of Browning, Swinburne, and Whitman, and a pair of "red-faced" country folk confused by the offense caused by their order of well-done chops and two pints of bitter. On the menu are items such as "Flageolet Fritters" and "Cinghalese Stew"—an unexpected pairing of "curried bananas and chicory"—that can be washed down with non-alcoholic specialities like "Spruce Sprout" and "Anti-Bass Beer." To readers horrified at the prospect of "rice and prunes" for lunch, Burnand’' sketch was part of a long-running satire on the absurdities of the meatless diet and its earnest enthusiasts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-153
Number of pages21
JournalLiterature and Medicine
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • cranks
  • clerks
  • suffragettes
  • vegetarianism
  • vegetarian
  • restaurant
  • British
  • culture
  • fiction
  • 19th century
  • 20th century

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Cranks, clerks, and suffragettes: the vegetarian restaurant in British culture and fiction 1880-1914'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this