Elisabeth Ayrton (1910 – 1991) was a writer of poetry, novels and cookery books. She is best known for her cookery books, several of which offer fascinating insights into domestic history at various periods. She did extensive historical research, not only in public and university libraries but also, by special permission, in the private collections of various great houses in England and Scotland.
Her books explore the culinary traditions of different regions of England through the centuries from the Middle Ages onwards, and give recipes which can be produced in modern kitchens with very little adaptation. She also discusses the methods by which the food was cooked, the variety of ingredients available at different periods and the methods of preservation, all of which interested her because they played such important roles in the evolution of the gastronomy of this country.
Her books launched the re-awakening interest in British cuisine which began in the latter half of the 20th century.