Gray is an inventive researcher where she often has not much to go on. She ploughs through the censuses for clues to occupation and changing fortunes. She is particularly good on food fashions and what they tell us about the wider social picture (though even she can offer no possible explanation for a disgusting sounding 1930s salad of grapefruit, bananas and mayonnaise). She likes to get close up to the everyday past, working out exactly how a faggot oven worked, or how to force sea kale or the history of Hertfordshire straw-plaiting (the main occupation of the village where Georgina was born).
Calamity: The Many Lives of Calamity Jane
"as Karen Jones sets out dismayingly early in her book, the only things that the real-life ‘Calamity Jane’ can with confidence be said to have in common with her legend is that she wore trousers, swore like a navvy and was pissed all the time..."
— The Spectator
When Churchill became Prime Minister in May 1940, her working life became even more frenetic. No 10 Downing Street was always full and she had to cook for the servants as well as all the visitors who descended on them, often with no warning.During her time with Churchill, Georgina cooked for 16 monarchs and countless famous people, from Charles de Gaulle and Field Marshal Montgomery to Charlie Chaplin, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. As author Annie Gray points out, food was both sustenance and a means of diplomacy for Churchill.