Writing on Ice Cream, Obama, Churchill and My Mother
The world, in all its diversity, seen through the eyes of one of its most original inhabitants - Simon Schama.
‘Wednesday brought a pungent sheepy smell emanating from the greyish lamb and barley soup my mother optimistically called ‘Taste of the Garden of Eden’. Expel me, please. Haddock in the air? That would be Thursday. The faintest whiff of roasting garlic? That would be what my sister and I uncharitably dubbed ‘Friday Night Memorial Chicken’; a venerable object smeared on the breasts with a dab of marmite meant to cheer the bird up as it emerged defeated from the oven. Rattling inside the brittle cavity was that one solitary clove of garlic; the exotic knobble that my mother conceded as a romantic touch amid the iron regimen of her unvarying weekly routine.’
Cookery is not necessarily a subject one immediately associates with Simon Schama - one of Britain’s most distinguished historians and commentators. But this selection of his occasional writings is a treasure trove of surprises. Passionate, provocative, entertaining and informative, Scribble, Scribble, Scribble ranges far and wide: from cookery and family to Barack Obama, from preaching and Shakespeare to Victorian sages, from Charlotte Rampling and Hurricane Katrina to 'The Fate of Eloquence in the Age of The Osbornes'.
Never predictable, always stimulating, Scribble, Scribble, Scribble allows us to view the world, in all its diversity, through the eyes of one of its most original inhabitants.
“Wilfully miscellaneous but addictively readable volume...On the evidence of this damned thick book, as a human being he is clever, versatile and extremely likeable”
John Sutherland, Financial Times
“A succinct stylist, Schama is a master of metaphor, the apt, adjectival phrase, rhetoric and irony, even Joycean parody...This sparkling, effervescent collection bridges the gap between scholarly and popular writing...It is excellent holiday reading: dip into this between the sea and the bar and you will find a subtle and amusing companion.”
Richard Ormrod, The Spectator
“An enticing collection of pieces old and new, a bedside book of rich insights”
Peter Preston, The Observer
“It really is very good...witty, learned, informative and clarifying”
Nicholas Lezard, Evening Standard
“His eloquence is on magnificent display in this new book: a delightful collection of journalistic essays...The length of his book, overflowing with purple prose (though very rarely at the cost of substance), demonstrates that, often, Schama does not know when to stop. But in this case, maybe that is not such a bad thing”
James Grant, The Independent on Sunday
“A busy and eventful voyage round Schamaland.. a one-man babble of erudition and wild enthusiasms”
Elizabeth Grice, Daily Telegraph
“Historian Simon Schama is man of broad interests, making this diverse collection of reviews, speeches and interviews well worth reading”
Simon Shaw, Daily Mail
“Ranging from Scorsese to soufflé Schama is a damn marvel”
“The most stimulating and surprising writing here is on cooking and eating...Diverting personal history”