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Their Last Suppers: Legends of History and Their Final Meals
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Their Last Suppers: Legends of History and Their Final Meals

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  438 ratings  ·  67 reviews
An irresistibly droll and intriguing collection of stories about legendary historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Princess Diana, Alexander the Great, Martin Luther King, Jr., and fifteen others describing the meals that preceded their historic deaths, including full menus with mouth-watering recipes.

Did you know that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian and his longtime pri
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Andrews McMeel Publishing (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  438 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
I picked up Their Last Suppers on a whim which was fine since I didn’t have to pay for the privilege. It looked vaguely interesting, I had time to kill and it was a free book. I had nothing to lose right? Wrong. So wrong.

Caldwell bills himself as the history chef, but I’m not sure he deserves the title. I mean no offense, but most historians are obsessed with accuracy and that is something Caldwell is not in the business of reporting.

Chapter 1. "[Titanic] carried more than 1,200 of America and
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a nice surprise. It is a book about the last meals of famous people from Alexander the Great to Princess Diana. I admit it may be a little grotesque in theme but author Andrew Caldwell makes it intriguing and enjoyable adding all types of lesser trivia about these famous people. Most of the last meal menus are historically accurate but Caldwell admits to some creative license with ancients like Cleopatra and Montezuma by using what were typical dishes of the time. In most cases, Caldwel ...more
Katie Lawrence
Sep 20, 2012 rated it liked it
This book described some of the last suppers of famous people. Some of the legends were Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King Jr., Hitler, Napoleon, Elvis and many others. With each person they briefly described their accomplishedments. They also included some interesting facts about each person. Then Andrew Caldwell intricately describes their final meal. Unlike most books it didn't have a storyline but each chapter was like an individual story. At the end of each chapter the author wrote out the ...more
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Now this is an odd little book--part history book and part cookbook. Andrew Caldwell looks at a number of historic figures and uncovers what their last meal was. Then, he gives recipes for those dishes. Oh, and there are some interesting tidbits of information about the individuals included in the collection. Such as Adolf Hitler became a vegetarian in 1931 (although he was often seen sneaking meat often in the form of liver dumplings--figures) and his long-time personal chef was Jewish--until t ...more
May 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
This was a free download for Kindle. It's not the sort of thing I would have paid for, and I'm certainly glad I didn't. It's a cookbook, containing recipies for the (documented or speculative) "last meals" of a number of historical personages... from Cleopatra to John Candy. That's right, John Candy is a "legend of history". Some of the dishes and preparations are interesting to read about, but the ingredients and techniques are for very experienced amateur or professional chefs only... the hist ...more
Mar 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I still haven't decided whether this is a history book or a cookbook.

I thought it would literally give details on the last meals of various people, which it did, but it also turned out to be a cookbook. After each section there is a recipe to the meals that were mentioned. My only major complaint about this book are the number of people mentioned. I thought there would be more than there were. And given the number of people, I think some of them could have been replaced with more interesting fig
Rachel C.
Sep 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
I thought this would be a fun food and history book. It failed on all three parts.

The history isn't even Wikipedia level, and many of the last suppers are purely speculative. The recipes vary wildly in descriptive detail and difficulty - the reader that needs a recipe for garlic bread isn't going to be skinning eels or roasting pheasant, you know. They're also not historically accurate. (I doubt General Custer ate beef jerky flavored with soy sauce.) And finally, the idea of actually cooking and
More of a cookbook than a history book, so I was a little surprised. But still an interesting read. I don't advise reading it on an empty stomach, as you'll end up foraging in your fridge for a snack!
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting Read!

It was very interesting to read about these historic people and their last and favorite meals. I want to try some of the recipes. Surprisingly, some are very simple.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019

I really didn't look much at the meals, I liked the history that went with each person. Looking for more like this.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Completely written from a colonizer point of view. Making European explorers the heroes of the stories, lightly glossing over the slaughtering of indigenous peoples.

Also, I thought this book would have more history behind the food, like why did certain cultures eat these foods and that wasn't included. Disappointed all around.
Amanda Morgan
Andrew Caldwell has trademarked himself as ‘The History Chef’, combining his love of history with his love of the culinary arts, and born of this love is “Their Last Suppers: Legends of History and Their Final Meals.”
In each chapter, Caldwell features a known figure in history, talks about their rise to fame as well as their eating habits, then documents either their last meal before death, or in cases where that information was not available, their favorite meals while alive.
I have to say I l
Shari Larsen
May 24, 2011 rated it liked it
This book takes a look at the last meals of historical figures, who at the time, did not know that those were going to be their last meals. The author unearths recipes going back as far as 325 B.C. The people featured in the book include Martin Luther King, Napoleon, Princess Diana, the captain of the Hindenburg Ernst Lehmann, Elvis Presley, and Cleopatra.

It also mentions the Titanic 11 course dinner, the last meal before the ship went down. I'm sure a lot of those passengers probably ate like i
Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
i'm not really sure what to think of this book so far. on the one hand, recipes are pretty cool. dude, i can make a dinner that alexander the great would've enjoyed. that's awesome. at the same time, i find myself being way bummed when reminded of some of the deaths, like princess di or jfk (even though that was before i was born, but anyway...). i get to thinking, what if they had lived longer? what difference might that have made? and then i get into this big existential funk and completely lo ...more
The most morbid cookbook you will ever read.

I bought this because I happen to be a morbid person and was actually intrigued by reading what certain famous people ate before they died. Surprisingly, the book really isn't all that weird. There's a brief biography about each person noting their major achievements and they how they died, ending with their final menu and then recipes so you can make the meal yourself. These recipes vary from quite easy to pretty advanced. Some I'm interested in tryin
Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it
A peculiar little book. The author, who claims to be a chef, and a historian,chooses 21 people of some historical note at random, writes short, cogent, interesting and well-worded biographical essays about them, comments briefly on what they likely ate for their last meals, and then gives some recipes for those dishes. That is all that links Elvis Presley to Julius Caesar to Adolph Hitler to Abraham Lincoln to Admiral Nelson to General Custer to John Candy.
Read as a bedtime reading, for which it
Dorothy  Keys
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect for the amateur cook and history buff.

Perfect for the amateur cook and history buff.

If you like cookbooks and also history then this book is perfect for you. I like that you are given a backstory of each of the legends of history as well as recipes for not only their last meals but their favorite meals as well. They are so many little tidbits that I did not know about, like did you know that Hitler was a vegetarian? Or that but before Custard's last stand , Custard's famous golden locks
Dec 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites

This was a great book featuring the history and recipes of many famous people throughout time. And then John Candy. It was kind of unusual to see him compared to people like Julius Cesar, General Custard and Martin Luther King. I really enjoyed the brief synopsis of their life. I learned a little bit about them that I hadn't known. Being blessed with culinary skills I also enjoyed the vast variety of unique recipes offered as well. Covering basics, healthy, unhealthy and cultural. I recommend
May 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-ebooks
Marilyn Monroe, Cleopatra, Adolf Hitler, and Napoleon are just a few of the people who are included in this book.

I liked how the author set up the details for each person's last supper. It was interesting to see the recipes for the food that made up their last supper and even included recipes of their favorite dishes as well.

I thought this book could of had a better ending. Maybe an epilogue since the book seemed to end quite abruptly.
May 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book gave a brief history of the 'Legends of History' which were somewhat interesting. Hitler, the Captain of the Titanic, Julius Caesar, Princess Diana, etc. But somehow I never would have considered John Candy a legend of history. A great actor, comedian who was taken much too soon, yes, but on the same level as Julius Caesar? Umm, ok... Other than that it was really just a cook book. And somehow I really don't need to know how to make grilled goat.
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks, historic
GREAT concept in book topics. The author has chosen famous figures and investigated their last suppers. Each personality (from MLK- JKF- Caesar-Cleopatra, etc) is given a historic review and then a full description of when they died and what they are said to have eaten- followed by the receipes. While this may sound morbid..... it was not. I got a kick out of it. Poor poor Marilyn Monroe.......
Joshua Arons
Jun 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Eh. Well written, but a little disappointing. I was very much looking forward to the black humor of cooking Hitlers last meal for friends, but Vegetable soup and pumpernickel is just a let down.

It turns out that most people didn't know they were about to die before their last meal, or if they were aware, wanted to spend their last waking hours with loved ones.

Give me an Ornolac stuffed in a pheasant, covered in aspic.
Gerald Heath
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was surprised to find that it was a historical cookbook. It gives a historical sketch of several historical characters, their favorite foods, their last meals, and for how to duplicate those last meals. I don't know what I was expecting, but the book was free for Kindle and I gave it a shot. I skimmed the history, and skipped the recipes, which made it about a 30 minute read. It wasn't bad, just....not my thing. Rated G
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
Caldwell bills himself as the History Chef. This book outlines the last meals of some of history's greatest figures - from Alexander the Great to Princess Diana; Cleopatra to Adolph Hitler. Oh, and he threw in Elvis and John Candy.
When actual meals aren't known he writes of the usual dishes served at that time in history. It includes recipes and cooking instructions. A very brief bio appears for each person.
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This books sounds morbid, but there is history, and recipes. The most interesting ones were the older stories because of the types of food they ate and how it was prepared. But, Marilyn and Elvis were included as well as John Candy and Princess Diana. I would recommend this book for the history of the people and the food. Very different type of book.
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I liked this book. I skipped over the people I didn't care to read about but what I did read, I thoroughly enjoyed. The fact that recipes are included is cool but also a little creepy. I don't think I'd like to cook someone's last meal. If I do use a recipe, it will be one that was a "favorite meal".
Beckimoody Moody
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Combination cook book/history book. Stories about a historical figure or event are paired with either their actual last meal, a favorite recipe, or something that might have been typically eaten. There were lots of interesting details that I did not know. I liked reading the recipes, even though I may never cook any of them.
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the premise of the book is great and the recipes interesting, I, like so many others, are curious as to where the author got his facts, as there seems to be a lot of inaccuracies and no proof behind the facts.

None the less, for the most part I did enjoy the book, I just with the author had backed up his stories with references as to where he got his facts.
Susan Sevcik
Jun 19, 2011 rated it liked it
This is one of my free Kindle books - and so far, it is interesting. I like the recipes included at the end of each little story. I think I will even use some of them, or recommend them to the Social Studies department. Maybe use as extra credit assignments???

Very interesting read, great recipes, too!
Victoria Blacke
Don't read this for in-depth insight into the lives of the famous people depicted. Read it for some funny stories and a morbid curiosity about a doomed person's final meal. For me, it was worth it just to read about the final meal on the Titanic. I also love the idea of hosting a Death Becomes Them dinner party where I highlight a final meal. One of these days I will get around to it!
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