Lorna Sheppard (Siviter) PhD Student

A study of Illustrated British Cookbooks: The interplay between author and illustrator and the role of women in the home (1954-1965)

My research project is a study into the interplay between cookery book writer and illustrator and the books they collaborated on. The years I am focusing on, 1954 (the year controlled food rationing ended) to 1965, provided some of the most influential and inspiring cookery books to be published. With the rise of consumerism, developments in food technology and manufacturing, the role of women was changing, with more in employment. Women's newfound independence often clashed with traditional family roles. The perception that home was the perfect feminine ideal was shifting. Illustrators and writers had to respond accordingly to these changes in traditional family life.  

The research will consider the use of graphic illustration in British cookbooks between 1954 and 1965 by examining the relationship between author, predominantly female, and illustrator, predominantly male, and ask how were the aesthetics of cookery books implicated in changes in role and status of women in the home?