Remembering Jane

Jane Grigson’s friends and admirers share their personal memories, explain why her work was a source of inspiration and reflect on her legacy.

Gillian Riley

My first memories of Jane are of a beautiful statuesque young woman, a senior editor at Thames and Hudson, where I was a very junior designer. We all admired her from afar.

It was only many years later that she became a role model, when her writings about food were breaking new ground, with her unique combination of modest erudition and graceful easily accessible prose; her recipes were delicious, they worked well, without the dead hand of editorial pedantry, and her observations on ingredients and history were always fresh and lively.

Jane had none of the hauteur and self-regard of many of her contemporary grandes dames, she was always kind, funny and approachable. Her generosity and warmth permeated all she wrote.

I am specially grateful for the long and informative introduction she wrote for my translation of Castelvetro, she gave so much to enhance the book, and that at a time when she was far from well. I remember her with affection and gratitude.