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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

203: Isaac Newton’s notebook, 1659 – 61

Newton started at Trinity College, Cambridge, in June 1661, bringing with him this old school notebook filled with notes on Latin grammar. Turning it upside down, he used the empty pages at the back to record his ‘personal expenses’ during his first undergraduate year. Perhaps homesick, Newton comforted himself with edible treats, recorded under the telling sub-heading, ‘Otiose et frustra expensa’ (Idle and vain expenses), including ‘cheries’, ‘Tarte’, ‘Marmolet’, ‘Custardes’, and ‘Cake bred’.

The Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge (R.4.48c)

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