Thursday, 28 October 2010

“Father Christmas Comes to Hungerford”

The grand old man of Christmas came to Hungerford a bit early this year as author Rupert Matthews gave a talk on the history of the real Father Christmas to a packed meeting of the Hungerford Probus.

Rupert said “This was a great event – made all the better by scrumptious roast beef and the apple pudding dessert. I outlined the development of our favourite Christmas character from his origins as the fearsome pagan English god of winter Geol (as in Yule),  through his medieval guise as a stern imposer of winter tasks and jolly glutton of Christmas feasting to his meeting with St Nicholas, from whom he borrowed the habit of giving presents to children. I wound up by bringing Father Christmas fully up to date, explaining where the reindeer came from, why Father Christmas drives a flying sleigh and how he is viewed in China, Japan and other non-Western societies.”

To book Rupert Matthews to speak at your event, contact him via HIS WEBSITE

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The End of the Roman Republic

The concept of imperium (see page 114) that underlay the republican system of government relied on two main conditions. First the voting citizens were free to vote for the person they thought was the best candidate. Second the elected officials kept within the law when doing their jobs.

The republic came to an end because both these conditions were broken.

The Roman system of government had been established when Rome was a relatively small city state, one of many in Italy. By 100bc, Rome was the ruler of a rich and powerful empire.

Many of the citizens who had votes were very poor. They would sell their votes for cash, voting for whichever candidate paid them the most. Others would vote for the head of their gentes (see page 56), or his preferred candidate.

Other voters were soldiers, who would usually vote for whoever their general told them to support.

Elected officials were given great opportunities to enrich themselves and their friends by the vast treasures and resources of the empire. Bribery and corruption spread as a few men became astonishingly rich.

The permanent army established by Gaius Marius (see page 84) was by 50bc more loyal to its commanders than to Rome. Generals used their troops to enforce their will.

Street violence became more common as the officials who were supposed to keep order actually hired gangs of toughs to beat up their political opponents.

In 49bc all these factors combined in the persons of Julius Caesar and Gnaeus Pompey (see page 26) – both successful army commanders and elected officials with enough money to bribe their way to victory in elections.

The civil wars and chaos that followed Caesar’s appointment as dictator convinced most Romans that the old system was no longer working. At the same time, they valued their freedoms and did not want to be ruled by a dictator or king.

This is an extract from 1000 Fact - Ancient Rome by Rupert Matthews

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Religious Cults in Ancient Greece

196     The Cults

In addition to the official Olympian Gods (see page 182) and the ceremonies carried out in public at temples, the Greeks also had a number of cults.

A cult was the worship of one particular god within the context of a club or society, the membership of which was often kept secret. Most cults had secret rituals and beliefs.

The wine god Dionysius was the focus for a very popular cult. Dionysius was officially worshipped at the Dionysian festival in the spring, but his cult continued all year round.

Women took part in the cultic ceremony of Dionysius. They would leave their homes to gather in a nearby wood. There they drank large quantities of wine and took part in wild dances, after which they ate a meal of raw meat.

The women's cultic ceremony of Dionysius was based on a legend of semi-divine women, called Maenads who were said to follow the god in a wild dance, and tore to pieces anyone who did not fall down and worship the god.

Men who took part in the Dionysius cult attended ceremonies held in private houses. These usually involved drinking huge quantities of wine.

During the Hellenistic Period (see page 38) the Persian god Mithras became the focus for a new cult. Mithras was a sun god who helped crops to grow and was linked to fertility.

The cult ceremonies of Mithras took place in caves or underground rooms in which was placed a statue of Mithras killing a bull. Rituals included sacred meals of roasted meat.

The Egyptian goddess Isis was the centre for a cult that seems to have catered mostly for women and for travellers, though the details are obscure.

In 331bc Alexander the Great visited the Egyptian temple of Ammon. The priests declared that he was a god. Some cities set up a cult of Alexander, and other Hellenistic kings later claimed that they were gods as well.

This is an extract from 1000 Fact on Ancient Greece by Rupert Matthews

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Henry VIII and his six wives

The family troubles of Henry VIII were to have a profound effect on England, in both religious and political affairs. Yet they had such profound effects only because England was changing and some have argued that Henry merely hastened changes that were inevitable.

Henry married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon in 1509, the year he became king. It was a political marriage as an alliance with Spain against France was thought essential. Catherine had previously been married to Henry’s elder brother, Arthur, and special permission from the Pope had been necessary for the wedding to go ahead.

For many years the policy of friendship with Spain paid handsome dividends. Henry strutted the diplomatic stage as a powerful monarch whose friendship was to be greatly prized. In 1521 he reached his finest hour when he mediated between the King of France and the Holy Roman Emperor. The display of wealth and opulence Henry put on for the occasion caused the event to be dubbed the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

But in 1529 the European monarchs settled their differences and England became an irrelevance. Henry was not happy and he was further angered by the failure of his queen to produce a male heir, the only surviving child, young Princess Mary, being of no account in Henry’s eyes. Through his chief minister, Cardinal Wolsey, Henry demanded that the pope granted a divorce. The Pope was friendly with Catherine’s relative the Emperor of Austria and refused. Henry’s determination on a divorce grew greater when he fell in love with Anne Boleyn, a young noblewoman.

In 1530 Wolsey was dismissed and replaced with Thomas Cromwell who promptly supported the king in his desire for his marriage to be annulled. Henry disavowed the Pope, made himself supreme head of the Church in England and promptly gave himself a divorce. In 1533 he married Anne Boleyn. The new queen quickly fell pregnant, but the child was a girl, Elizabeth. After at least one miscarriage, Henry decided to get rid of Anne. He charged her with treason on dubious grounds of adultery and had her executed in May 1536.

The break with Rome caused by the marriage to Anne Boleyn, however, was to last much longer and have profound effects. In 1536 Henry disbanded the monasteries and took their vast wealth for himself. The huge lands owned by the monasteries were sold off to the increasingly wealthy merchants who were making small fortunes under the benevolent economic measures of the Tudors. Many of the merchants were Protestants, religious objectors to the abuses and corruption of the Pope and his court. Although Henry himself was  a devout Catholic, and only split with Rome to get a divorce, his move encouraged his subjects to become Protestants. By the time of Henry’s death England would be well on its way to being a Protestant nation and twenty years later it would be firmly so. The break with Rome became permanent and continues to this day.

Meanwhile, however, Henry had married Jane Seymour, sister of the Duke of Somerset. The new Queen gave birth to a son, Edward, within a year of the marriage, but then died from an infection caught in childbirth.

Henry was by now 47 years old and had a son and heir. He decided it was time for a political marriage and ordered his minister, Cromwell, to find a suitable young bride among the rulers with whom Henry needed an alliance. Thomas Cromwell suggested that Anne of Cleves would be a suitable bride as she was the daughter of the powerful Protestant ruler, John Duke of Cleves, and moreover came with a substantial dowry.

Henry agreed to marry the German princess, but regretted the decision within days of the wedding. Anne turned out to be a remarkably plain lady and failed dismally to match the king in witty conversation. Henry demanded and, as Head of the Church, received an annulment just six months after the wedding. Cromwell was executed in 1540, partly due to what Henry saw as the monstrous mistake of recommending Anne of Cleves.

Next to marry the king was Catherine Howard, a startling beautiful girl who was niece to the powerful Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. Henry was clearly infatuated with his new wife, marrying her only days after the annulment of his previous marriage. It therefore came as a great shock to discover that the new queen was secretly seeing a young man she had known and been close to before the marriage. Leaping to the conclusion, which may have been true, that Catherine was committing adultery, Henry ordered her execution. The marriage had lasted just two years.

The final queen of Henry VIII was Catherine Parr, a highly educated widow from the lesser nobility. The marriage took place in 1543 and seems to have brought stability and some happiness to Henry in his final years. Catherine was an expert on religious matters, though she did not always agree with Henry, and kept herself informed about various foreign affairs. Her main contribution to history was to persuade Henry to declare his two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, to be legitimate. This meant glossing over the various dramas of Henry’s previous marriages and was a considerable achievement. It left the way open for the two girls to succeed to the throne after their younger brother died an early death.

This is an extract from 200 Things You Need to Know About the British by Rupert Matthews

Friday, 15 October 2010

HItler in Portuguese

Not that the History Man is one to boast, but he is rather pleased that his study of Hitler as a Military Commander has just been published in its fifth language - Portuguese!

You can buy the English language version HERE

And if you are interested in the last secret of the Reich from the Battle of Britain, you can buy my book on the top secret Heinkel SuperFighter.

Video for the book Teashop and Pub Drives in Sussex

Watch the video HERE

Boadicea the Warrior Queen

Standing on the banks of the Thames at Westminster is a magnificent statue of Queen Boadicea in her war chariot accompanied by her two daughters. It is a monument to the woman who once destroyed London and came close to driving the Romans out of Britain.

Known to her own people as Boudicca, the great Queen of the Iceni had her name rendered in Latin as Boadicea. The Iceni at this time were a powerful Celtic tribe who inhabited what is now Norfolk and much of Suffolk. During the Roman invasion of Britain their King Prasutagus had kept the tribe neutral. In thanks the Romans paid large sums to Prasutagus and his nobles and granted the Iceni self-governing status while they organised the rest of southern Britain into a directly-ruled province.

When King Prasutagus died in ad61 he left two young daughters as his heirs and his queen Boadicea as their guardian. Realising the vulnerability of the two girls in the face of Rome, the king left half his personal possessions to the Emperor Nero. This was a common method used by rich Romans to ensure their wills were properly carried out and Prasutagus was acting on advice from Roman friends.

The Governor, Suetonius Paulinus, was in northern Wales at the time fighting the Celtic tribes there and power resided with the Procurator Decianus Catus. Decianus decided to take advantage of the situation. Claiming as his excuse that Prasutagus had left half his kingdom to Nero, the Procurator sent Roman troops in to loot the Iceni of as much as they could lay their hands on before Suetonius returned. He also declared that the original financial gifts were loans and demanded the money back with interest. When the Roman troops reached the Royal Household, they met resistance and reacted brutally. Boadicea as tied to a post and flogged, and her two daughters raped.

As soon as she escaped from her bindings, Boadicea raised rebellion. She called her tribesmen to arms and slaughtered the scattered Romans still looting her lands. As the Iceni tribesmen gathered into an army they were joined by the Trinovantes of modern Essex. The Trinovantes deeply resented the arrogant behaviour and land-grabbing of Roman colonists in Colchester. So Colchester became the first target of the rising.

Colchester was captured and every Roman citizen killed. The small garrison barricaded themselves in the temple, but held out only for two days before being slaughtered. Boadicea now turned to face the IX Legion, marching south from its fortress at Lincoln. The Celts caught the Romans strung out on the march and a massacre followed. Most of the infantry were killed and the commander Petillius Cerialis fled in undignified fashion with his cavalry to a fortified base somewhere near Peterborough.

While Petillius sent for the infantry of the IX he had left on garrison duty, Boadicea turned towards London. Suetonius by this time had learned of the destruction of Colchester. He gave orders for his army to disengage from the Celts in Wales and rode off with a small cavalry force to reach London. It was there that Suetonius learned of the loss of the IX. More disturbing was the fact that the II Legion at Exeter was refusing to move. Suetonius had expected the II and IX to be in or near London by the time he arrived, but instead found only a few auxiliaries. The governor made the only decision he could. He advised the citizens of London to flee and himself mounted up and rode off to join his main army now returning from Wales. Decianus Catus, who had started all the trouble, duly fled.

Boadicea and her army entered London shortly after Suetonius left. As at Colchester the city was burnt to the ground and everyone it in killed. This shocked the Romans who were accustomed to the Celtic traditions of capturing slaves. But Boadicea was leading a war of vengeance and normal rules did not apply.

Suetonius met his army and organised it to face the Celts. He had about 10,000 men of the XIV and XX Legions, together with auxiliary cavalry and some auxiliary infantry. Despite repeated orders, the II still did not move. The commander Poenius Postumus may have feared rebellion by the tribes in his area if he moved his troops towards London, but his reasoning is not clear. He later committed suicide rather than go to Rome to explain his actions.

Boadicea set out to chase Suetonius and the two armies met on the road to Wales, probably somewhere near Mancetter. Suetonius drew his men up between two woods at the top of a slope. Boadicea threw her men in a headlong charge up the slope. As so often with battles of Celt against Roman, the battle hinged on whether the line of Legionnaries could hold the initial rush. If the Roman line broke the battle turned into a slaughter of Romans by triumphant Celts, but if the line held the Celts soon expended their strength and Roman discipline would tell. In this instance the line held. The Roman legionnaries formed into a wedge shape and advanced to punch a hole through the Celtic host. The auxiliary cavalry charged on the flanks and the Celtic retreat became a rout.

Boadicea herself escaped the battlefield, but later committed suicide by drinking poison. The elaborate Celtic burial found by Victorian workmen building Kings Cross station is, by tradition, that of Boadicea. The bones and objects of the burial were built into the foundations of Platform 9, where Boadicea lies to this day.

After her death, Boadicea’s people were savagely persecuted by Suetonius. The Iceni and Trinovantes were ruthlessly harassed. All fortified camps were destroyed and anyone who resisted was killed out of hand. Even tribes which had not joined the rising were severely treated and many Celtic nobles executed for no crime other than not speaking out against Boadicea. But Nero had been disturbed by the rising and by the corrupt administration which caused it. He sent a new Procurator, Julius Classicianus to Britain along with an ex-slave named Polyclitus who had risen high in the Imperial bureaucracy. Together the two men restrained Suetonius and his troops from further reprisals. A new regime of fairer taxation and more honest government was introduced.

The memory of Boadicea died in Britain under the long centuries of Roman rule. It was only through the writings of Tacitus and other Roman historians that her story later became known. To the Victorians the mighty Boadicea with her flaming red hair and foghorn voice was a ready-made heroine to pitch against the armies of Rome. It was they who created out of the savage violence of her war of revenge a nationalist heroine leading a war for freedom.

It was not until the mid-20th century that more serious historical research began to reveal the true story of what had happened. It was even discovered that the name Boadicea was a Latinised version of the Celtic name Boudicca. The older attitudes to Boadicea were summed up by the cultured professor of archaeology Sir Mortimer Wheeler. Asked in the 1960s why he continued to refer to ‘Boadicea’ when it had been established her name had really been ‘Boudicca’, he replied that she was a fascinating character and concluded “I would have loved to have met Boadicea, but dear boy, I could never invite a lady named Boudicca to dinner.”

This is an extract from What Everyone Needs to Know about British History by Rupert Matthews

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Modern Armour

Soldiers often wear helmets. In modern wars exploding shells and rockets often throw out sharp splinters of metal called shrapnel. Soldiers take cover in trenches or holes, but their heads are the part of the body most likely to be hit by shrapnel. Helmets made of metal protect the head.

Modern armoured warfare involves tanks. The armour needed to sop modern shells and rockets is too heavy for a man to carry, but it can be mounted on a vehicle. These armoured vehicles include tanks, armoured personnel carriers (APC) and other vehicles. Like the armoured knights of the middle ages, they are the key feature of a modern army.

Riot police use helmets and shields. When police face rioters or criminals they often wear helmets and carry shields. These provide good protection against the clubs, bottles and other weapons that are often used by rioters.

Security guards wear face visors. Guards who transport money in vans or who patrol buildings at night often wear helmets fitted with face visors. These given protection against the sprays and chemicals that are sometimes thrown by robbers and bandits.

Bomb disposal men use special armour. The men who defuse bombs left by terrorists wear a special type of armour. The armour is designed to give protection against blast waves and covers as much of the body as possible while still allowing the bomb disposal man to use his hands to defuse the bomb.

True or False
1. Riot police wear body armour.
2. An APC is an “Advanced Police Car”.
3. Bomb disposal men wear special anti-blast armour.

1. FALSE. They wear helmets and shields.
2. FALSE. An APC is an Armoured Personnel Carrier.
3. TRUE.

This is an extract from 100 Facts on Arms and Armour by Rupert Matthews

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Battle of Austerlitz 1805

Austerlitz Campaign
Also known as the Battle of Three Emperors, Austerlitz saw the rulers of France, Austria and Russia leading their men into battle. The campaign ended with total victory for the French and is often regarded as Napoleon’s masterpiece.
The Russian commander in Austria, Kutusov, recognized that the newly reformed French army was likely to win any pitched battle. He decided on a slow withdrawal hoping that the French would run out of supplies.
This plan was overruled by the Tsar Alexander who ordered a halt near the village of Austerlitz. Emperor Francis II of Austria joined the army, which by 1 December numbered 60,000 Russians and 25,000 Austrians with 278 cannon. Marching against them was Napoleon with 73,000 men and 139 cannon.
 Alexander noticed that the French right flank was weak and ordered an attack there in great force, while the centre and opposite flank stood on the defensive. This was what Napoleon had wanted. He knew the land on his right flank was marshy and that this would slow and disorder an attack.
 The battle began at 8am with Russian attacks led by General Buxhowden on the French right flank through dense fog. Napoleon waited until the Russians were committed to the fray, then sent Marshal Soult’s corps to assault the thinly held Pratzen Heights in the allied centre. As Soult came up the slope the fog lifted and blazing sun illuminated the battlefield. Soult had crushed the Austrian forces on the Pratzen Heights and broke the centre of the Austro-Russian army. The allied right flank was forced to withdraw after two hours fighting.
At about 2pm Buxhowden realized that he was isolated and got drunk. The Russians began to fall back in disorder, then broke and fled to be pursued by French cavalry. By 4pm the Allies had lost 27,000 killed or captured, while the French had lost only 8,000.
 Tsar Alexander gathered his shattered army and set off back to Russia, abandoning his allies. Napoleon’s peace terms were harsh. Austria had to hand her lands in northern Italy to France. Emperor Francis had to disband the thousand year old Holy Roman Empire and give up all claims over Germany. 

 This is an extract from The Historical Atlas of the World at War by Rupert Matthews

Friday, 8 October 2010

Freight Traffic on the Didcot Newbury Southampton Railway

In 1894 there was a form of coup within the management of the DNS. The Berkshire landowners who had been the prime movers in the construction and initial funding of the line were replaced by businessmen from Southampton. Prominent among these were G.T. Harper, a  shipbroker, Beresford Turner, Chairman of the Southampton Harbour Board, J.E. LeFeurvre of the Southampton Chamber of Commerce and Colonel E. Bance, one time Mayor of Southampton. Forbes was quickly ousted as Chairman, his place being taken by G.T. Harper.

One of the first actions of the new board was to hire a Traffic Agent in the form of W.H.H.M. Gipps and to give him the task of generating freight traffic for the line. Mr Gipps was a highly experienced and well respected figure in railway circles. The DNS could not afford his services, so they decided to share him with the Lambourn Valley Railway, where he worked as General Manager.

Mr Gipps and his team of three worked wonders. Within ten years they had more than doubled the freight traffic to a respectable £19 10s. 8d. per mile per week. One of the most serious handicaps Gipps faced was the refusal of the LSWR and GWR to book cheaper through rates for goods wagons running from Southampton, up the DNS and on from Didcot. Wagons had to be booked first from Southampton to Winchester, then from Winchester to Didcot and finally from Didcot to their final destination. There was always the risk of delay at each hand over. For most freight this was a serious inconvenience but for perishable foodstuffs it could be ruinous.

In 1896 Gipps took the LSWR and GWR to the Railway and Canal Commissioners for restraint of trade. The hearings were lengthy and complex, but in the end Gipps got his way. The two larger companies had to grant through-booking rates and timetables to freight from the DNS irrespective of where if had originated. Takings and profits rose again.

In 1901 Gipps displayed his business acumen in unexpected, but highly profitable, fashion. He travelled to Britanny and held talks with farmers and wholesalers of new potatoes. Back in England he chartered the 80 ton steamer SS Fred for the months of May and June. When May came, the SS Fred docked at St Malo and loaded up with sacks of new potatoes. It spent the next two months shuttling back and forth between St Malo and Southampton heavily loaded down with new potatoes. The potatoes were transferred at Southampton to DNS trucks which then raced north to carry the French delicacies to towns and cities of the Midlands and North.

By 1905, the DNS had three ships – the Fred, Puffin and Zillah – working in the new potato run. The railway kept the profitable trade going right up to the outbreak of the Great War in 1914.

It was not just long distance through freight that ran on the DNS. In the 1890s it was reckoned that each acre of arable farmland generated about a ton of freight of various kinds. The farms that stood close to the line would ship out their crops via the DNS, raising revenues accordingly. By 1913, before the Great War brought serious changes, the DNS was drawing 53% of its revenue from freight, 32% from passengers and 15% from local parcels and deliveries.

This is an extract from Lost Railways of Berkshire by Rupert Matthews

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Saint George comes to Chipstead

St George rode into Chipstead today in the form of historian Rupert Matthews who came to Chipstead Sailing Club to reveal the exciting results of his new research into the life and times of England’s national patron saint.
Dragon-slayer, English hero, martyr, warrior, soldier and saint — St George has been all these things. But who was the real St George? English author Rupert Matthews revealed all to the Chipstead Conservatives at a lunch on 7 October.
Rupert Matthews said “St George is one of the most instantly recognisable saints who has ever existed. His bold red cross on a white background waves from football terraces wherever England play, flutters from cars and flies proudly from English flagpoles everywhere. And yet surprisingly few people are aware of where he has come from, how he developed and what has made him what he is today.
“St George was a real man – an army offcer who lived in Syria and was executed on 23 April 303 on the orders of Roman Emperor Diocletian. He had fallen foul of an Imperial edit aimed at suppressing Christianity, and George was a well-known opponent of the god Apollo who was beheaded as an example to others. He acquired his red cross as a symbol of his martyrdom. The dragon was a misinterpretation of icons that showed him killing the pythia, a giant serpent that was the symbol of Apollo. But it was the crusades that really turned St George into a great hero – the soldier saint was credited with winning the Battle of Antioch on 1098. And when King Edward III was looking for a suitable rallying point for the English army fighting France in the Hundred Years War he turned to St George. So St George was transformed from the Christian martyr or reality to the dragon-slaying Englishman of legend.”
Rupert Matthews has written a fascinating book based on his  research into folklore and legends to put together an accurate account of St George’s original life story, and how he has developed in folklore and legend to become what he is today. 
Author Rupert Matthews says “I was thrilled to write this book as it has allowed me to unravel the historic mysteries surrounding St George. I have been able to disprove some of the misinformation spread about our national saint in recent years and to restore him to his rightful place.”

To book Rupert Matthews to speak at your event email him on

Monday, 4 October 2010

An interesting recipe for lamb and stiltons

Roasted Spring Lamb with Stilton and Raspberry Sauce

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: Approx 1 hour, depending on size of lamb joint

This dish nicely combines the different parts of Leicestershire. Stilton came from the east of the county where cows were grazed on the lush, damp grazing of the clay lowlands. The lamb comes from the west where sheep munched the rougher upland pastures. And every good country garden had a few raspberry canes in the fruit patch somewhere. Conveniently the raspberries ripened at the same time of year as the lambs got to a good size for slaughtering. These days, lamb is available year round and frozen raspberries work as well as fresh. Stuffing the joint of lamb will make it easier to carve, and will add a smashing good flavour to the meat. This recipe works equally well with shoulder of lamb, which is rather cheaper than the leg but just as succulent. Your butcher will happily bone the joint for you before you take it home.

5 spring onions, chopped
2oz butter
2 tsp white wine vinegar
4oz fresh white breadcrumbs
2oz blue Stilton cheese, crumbled
3 tbsp ground hazelnuts
8oz fresh or frozen raspberries
Black pepper
A leg of lamb, boned
4 tbsp red wine
11fl oz chicken stock
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Cook the spring onions lightly in the butter to soften, add the vinegar and set aside.
Stir the bread crumbs into the onion mixture
Add the Stilton, hazelnuts, half the raspberries and seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 200 C or Gas Mark 6.
Open the joint of lamb flat  and season well.
Spoon in the stuffing, then roll up the meat and tie with string.
Place the lamb in a roasting pan and cook, allowing 15 minutes per pound, boned weight.
When the lamb is cooked, transfer to a warm plate, cover and allow to rest.
Meanwhile, simmer the wine, chicken stock and mustard in a saucepan.
Add the juices from the roasting tin and bring to the boil.
Combine the cornflour with 2 tsp of cold water and add to the gravy to thicken.
At the last moment, add the remaining raspberries.
Place the lamb on a carving dish, the gravy in a large jug and serve.

This is an extract from Leicestershire Food and Drink by Rupert Matthews