Welcome to Tea & Tattle Podcast.

I'm your host, Miranda Mills. Join me every Tuesday for weekly discussions on culture, books, creativity and wellbeing, as well as interviews with inspiring women.

I can't wait to have you! 

57 | A Chat With Pen Vogler

57 | A Chat With Pen Vogler


Listen to Episode 57: A Chat With Pen Vogler

Also Available on iTunes

Episode Summary

For the last episode of Tea & Tattle before the New Year, I'm so pleased to bring you a wonderfully festive conversation with the writer and food historian, Pen Vogler. Pen's new book, Dinner with Dickens, is packed with delicious recipes inspired by Charles Dickens's life and novels.

Pen lives in London and works for Penguin Press, but she has also written books on the history of food in literature, including Dinner with Mr Darcy and Tea with Jane Austen.


In today's episode, Pen tells me what inspired her latest book, Dinner with Dickens, as well as a little about her research process in sourcing recipes. We also chat about the legacy of A Christmas Carol, and how the novella influenced the type of Christmas dinner we still eat today. It was fascinating, too, to learn about the types of dinner parties Dickens enjoyed hosting and how experiencing hunger as a child influenced his relationship with food later in life.

Listen to learn more about the importance of food in Charles Dickens's life and books.

Episode Breakdown

  • 00:25 - Miranda introduces Pen Vogler.
  • 02:19 - How Pen's interest in the history of food first began.
  • 03:31 - The inspiration behind Dinner with Dickens.
  • 04:56 - Pen reads an extract from Dinner with Dickens.
  • 09:14 - Why food is so significant in Dickens' stories.
  • 11:40 - Why A Christmas Carol captured the imagination of Victorian society so vividly.
  • 14:50 - The type of dinner party Dickens would host.
  • 18:48 - How the food that Dickens ate reflected his relationships with those closest to him.
  • 22:10 - Catherine Dickens's cookbook.
  • 24:15 - How Pen researched her book.
  • 25:45 - Pen's favourite recipes from the cookbook.
  • 29:54 - What's next for Pen.

Episode Links

Tweet Me!

click on the Twitter icon to share my favourite quote from this episode

Tweet: 'He showed his readers that everyone has the right to good food and conviviality, whether they're rich or poor.' - @PenfromPenguin discusses Dinner with Dickens: http://bit.ly/2kG0YSs

He showed his readers that everyone has the right to good food and conviviality, whether they're rich or poor.

 -Pen Vogler

Your Thoughts

Thank you so much for listening and being a part of Tea & Tattle podcast. As always, I love to hear your thoughts, so please let me know:

What did you enjoy most about this episode? Would you like to try your hand at some Dickensian recipes?

Next Time...

Tea & Tattle will resume in January, when Sophie will hopefully be back on the podcast too. I've got lots of inspirational content lined up for the New Year, but until then, I hope all our listeners enjoy the festivities of the season. Thank you so much for all your support of Tea & Tattle in 2017. I can't wait to see what fresh adventures and fabulous guests 2018 brings!

Happy Holidays!  

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