Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Empress of Ice Cream - Anthony Capella

History and Ice cream together in one book?  Oh yes!  And to think I would never have picked this one myself.  This was passed on to me by a friend because I was short of a book for a category in a challenge I'd entered.  But I digress.

The lady in question was one of many mistresses of King Charles II of England, a girl from the landed gentry of Brittany, France.  Her job was to get the King to do the bidding of Louis XIV of France, and join him in a war against the Dutch.  Oh! and to persuade him to become a Catholic.  Her name? Louise de Keroualle, anglicised to Louise Carwell.  The intrigues of the English Court and parliament at that time were as much an eye opener to me, as they were to her.  Alongside her story is that of Carlo Demirco, the man who (supposedly) invented ice cream.  His story is a fiction, although certainly icecream was served to the King and Court at that time, and in any case, the descriptions of his flavours and how he got them are really worth a book of their own - although there are definitive books about ice cream which are described in the acknowledgements at the end of the book.
She decided that love would never take the place of politics; and he?  Well, he loved her but was never going to have her to himself.

This is historic faction and a lot of fun.  Easy to read, I polished off the 400 pages in a couple of days and enjoyed every mouthful!  And tell me, if you can, whatever happened to white strawberries?