by Peter Salt
Manchester University Press’s latest book in their Studies in Imperialism series is entitled Chocolate, women and empire: a social and cultural history by Emma Robertson. Surprisingly the first English book on chocolate was published in 1662 – The Indian nectar, or, a discourse concerning chocolata by physician Henry Stubbe. The book is discussed in C. F. Main, Henry Stubbe and the firs English book on chocolate, Journal of the Rutgers University Library, 23, 1960, p. 33-47. However, Thomas Gage devoted an entire chapter to chocolate in his Travail by sea and land, or, a new survey of the West Indias (1648) discussed in Edmund Campos, Thomas Gage and the English colonial encounter with chocolate, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 39:1, 2009, p. 183-200. Lowell Satre’s book Chocolate on trial: slavery politics and the ethics of business (Athens, Ohio University Press, 2005) includes chapters on Cadbury Bros v Standard Newspaper libel case and British involvement in the Portuguese chocolate trade 1910-14. The history of Cadbury is outlined in Cadbury’s purple reign: the story behind chocolate’s best-loved brand (Chichester, John Wiley, 2008) by John Bradley, and its overseas investment outlined in Geoffrey Jones, Multinational chocolate: Cadbury overseas, 1918-39, Business History, 26:1, 1984, p. 59-76. Gillian Wagner discusses the Quaker families of household chocolate manufacturing firms, Fry, Rowntree, and Cadbury, and their philanthropic activities in The chocolate conscience (London, Chatto & Windus, 1987). A subject also covered by James Walvin in his The Quakers: money and morals (London, John Murray, 1997). While Mark Freeman and Jonathan Davies discuss the political involvement of the Rowntree family in A case of political philanthropy: the Rowntree family and the campaign for democratic reform, Quaker Studies, 9:1, 2004, p. 95-113. For social and gender aspects to chocolate manufacture see, Emma Robertson et al, Harmonious relations? Music at work in the Rowntree and Cadbury factories, Business History, 49:2, 2007, p. 211-34; or Robertson’s “It was just a real camaraderie thing”: socialising, socialisation and shopfloor culture at the Rowntree factory, York in Women and work culture: Britain c. 1850-1950 ed. Cowan and Jackson, p. 107-22. And to end on a sweet (!) note how about a very short 1934 film on the making of chocolates Sweets for the Sweet.