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  Jane Austen dinner parties 15 Mar 2006  
"Invite him to dinner, Emma, and help him to the best of the fish and the chicken, but leave him to choose his own wife."

So advises Mr. Knightley to Jane Austen's matchmaking heroine at the end of the first chapter of 'Emma'. During the Regency period, dinner parties ranked first amongst all entertainments and a society hostess was expected to give a dinner party at least once or twice a week.

In the first of our new series on food and cookery as would have been familiar to Jane Austen and her characters, Anna McNamee went to meet with the food writer Hattie Ellis who agreed to experiment with cooking a whole fish, the recipe for which came from the cookbook of one of Jane's dearest friends, Martha Lloyd. But first she went to visit the Austenian scholar and biographer, Deirdre Le Faye...

Recipe: Salmon, Pike, Carps or Fresh Cod in Corbullion
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