In the fevered and romantic imagination of most Jane Austen lovers, balls mean music, dancing and perhaps even a little romance. To the gourmet, however, balls also mean good food.
In the next in our series of cookery in the days of Jane Austen, the food writer, Hattie Ellis, prepared Anna McNamee a dish guaranteed to put extra élan into any dance step - White Soup.
But first Anna met with the Austenian scholar Deirdre Le Faye to find out why the food was as important as the dancing. Recipe for White Soup Recipe for Fish in Corbullion The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Black and Deirdre Le Faye is published by the British Museum Press