On The Table: Three Banquets for a Queen by Charlotte Birnbaum
In 1668, Queen Christina of Sweden was greeted in Rome with three spectacular banquets that surpass all historical precedents and successors in the register of extravagant gastronomy. As the first publication of her series, On the Table, Charlotte Birnbaum presents Antonio degli Effetti's newly translated seventeenth-century text, which elaborately describes the three feasts in all their sumptuous and performative glory. The original text, dotted with quotations from Ovid's Metamorphoses and Virgil's Aeneid, outlines the lavish preparations for the celebrations, the dining experience―designed by Bernini, no less―and the delectably boundless menus themselves. The text is contextualized by two essays and a foreword by Charlotte Birnbaum.