Soup of the Day
Had we been invited to dine at the Gorakhpur Club in India in May 1916, we would have been treated to a slap-up dinner, complete with detailed menu in French.
Using our linguistic skills, we have worked out that we would have eaten a fine repast of fish in aspic, kidney and mushroom pudding with potatoes and peas, peach ice-cream, and preserved asparagus spears. Sounds very tasty, but perhaps not for the faint-hearted (or those on a diet). But we are stumped by our starter of ‘Potage d’Eunice’. We can only speculate that perhaps this intriguingly titled soup was named for the person who created it. Or perhaps dinner was in Eunice’s honour? If so, just who was Eunice, and what was her connection to the Gorakhpur Club? Or perhaps it is simply that ‘Potage d’Eunice’ is a forgotten French classic. If there are any food historians out there who may have heard of ‘Potage d’Eunice’, and indeed know what it might be made of, we would be delighted to hear from you.
The menu comes from a small collection of private papers recently acquired by the India Office Records at The British Library. They relate to the family of Guilford Lindsay Edwards (1853-1946), a railway engineer in India who was based in Gorakhpur. The collection consists of a small number of personal papers, including Guilford’s journal from 1872-1894, as well as material relating to his son Lindsay Edwards, who also worked as an engineer in India, and the family of his daughter Amy Bellairs. There are also 9 files of family photographs and two photograph albums. The photographs are primarily snapshots of day to day family life, which give us an interesting insight into the private and domestic world of a white European family in India c.1900-c.1920.
Cataloguer Modern Archives & Manuscripts
Mss Eur F700: Papers, journal and photographs of Guilford Lindsay Edwards and family, 1872-1940s
Add MS 43809-43813: Diary of a visit to India by Mrs Louisa Edwards, 1883-1884
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