Anne Sebba

An Odd Bunch

The Surprising Life of Constance Spry


Macmillan 256pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Countless newlyweds in the 1960s, suddenly facing a need to cook for the first time in their lives, turned with relief to The Constance Spry Cookery Book as their kitchen bible. The 1956 bestseller reeked of respectability, reliability and refinement.

Yet Constance herself, until then known only as a florist, offered more controversial advice in person. ‘Just be natural and let the rules go to hell,’ she once wrote, referring to her unconventional and highly original ideas about flower decoration. She might just as well have been discussing her philosophy of life.

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