Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery Oral History Project

Interview with Jill Norman



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Technological University Dublin


Jill Norman grew up in the Midlands region of England where her father had a market garden and vegetable shops, so she ate well as a child. She studied French and History in Kings College, London, and following some travels, became editorial director in Penguin Books. She looked after the food list initially, working with Claudia Roden, Jane Grigson and Elizabeth David, but by the time she left she was looking after the social sciences, environment, business, and education, the classical part of the classics and the food and drink.During her time at Penguin Books she worked closely with Elizabeth David and is literary trustee of the Elizabeth David Estate UK. Another of her authors was Alan Davidson and she was one of the twenty or so people who attended the first ever Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery in 1981, and has been a regular contributor and attendee ever since. She commissioned Alan to write the Penguin Companion to Food and sold the hardback rights to Oxford University Press.

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oral interview, historian, food, publisher, Jill Norman


Arts and Humanities

Interview with Jill Norman