Victorian Parasites

A blog about Science, History, and Popular Culture

Archive for the month “December, 2017”

The Proof is in the Pudding: A Bah! Humbug! Victorian Christmas

I wrote a festive post for the Diseases of Modern Life blog on Dickens, Plum Pudding, and Christmas Indigestion!

Diseases of Modern Life

‘He is an utter and bombastic fraud. He rolls spluttering and crackling onto the English dinner-table at Yuletide, a sprig of English holly cocked jauntily in his cap, well nigh bursting his rotund body in swaggering sham patriotism.’1

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 13.22.32 From: L. F. Austin and A. R. Ropes, ‘The Whirligig of Time’ The English Illustrated Magazine 123 (Dec 1893) pp.261-68.

Thus begins an article published in The Windsor Magazine in 1897. The subject is the plum-pudding, a dish that the author calls a ‘genuine, rollicking comrade of the roast beef of Old England.’ A few years earlier, the English Illustrated Magazine had dubbed the pudding ‘our national heritage’ along with his ‘baked brother, the mince pie’.⁠2 And surely Christmas isn’t Christmas without Christmas Pudding? It certainly isn’t in our family, where, come 9pm, we will all undoubtedly be sitting beneath a bedecked and balding tree listening to Michael Bublé…

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