In an editorial response to Maurice Francis Egan’s article “Dinner with Novelists” (originally published in The Literary Northwest)—an article devoted to the “art of dinning in literature”—it is quickly brought to our attention that Dr. Egan found some of the most tantalizing literary dishes in the novels of Ouida. I would certainly have to agree with Dr. Egan on that point. So much so, in fact, that with the goal of enriching the experience of reading her novels and short stories, I took several opportunities to try some of the food and drink recipes found in her work while reading them. In the spirit of bringing the literary dining experience to life, I am presenting a list of five appealing Ouidean food and beverage mentions. I haven’t tried all the recipes listed here; nevertheless, I still recommend matching these meal and drink choices with their corresponding stories for the full effect:
For all the fame and success that Ouida achieved during the height of her career, the fact remains that she was extremely guarded when it came to her personal life. She was fervently against doing interviews with press, and she refused to write a nonfictional autobiography or memoir during her life. Her desire to keep her private life out of the scrutinizing ink of the press, in part, must have contributed to the widespread rumors and speculations that proliferated concomitantly with her growth in popularity in the public sphere.