The Birth of The Chocolate City
Life in Georgian York
- Summer Strevens
15th August 2014
One of the great names in chocolate history, Rowntree’s, evolved from the humble retail beginnings of Mary Tuke, eighteenth-century mother of York’s chocolate industry. This book explores how she was formative in shaping modern York as a city of confectionery manufacture, a city with a broader history in this industry than any other city in the UK. York emerged as the epicentre of an empire of competing chocolate kings.
Strevens also insightfully reveals the impact that the development of York’s confectionery production had on the lives of the rich, the poor and ‘the middling sort’, exploring growing social trends in the social capital of the North, such as chocolate and coffee houses, and the evolution of York as a destination for the ‘polite and elegant’.
This is an accessible and at times wry exploration of eighteenth-century York, vividly bringing to life the sumptuous splendours and profound murkiness of the city at the time of its commercial emergence as the ‘Chocolate City’. Each chapter develops the detailed picture of what it must have been like to live in this city at the inception of York’s most scrumptious of trades.