Celebrate National Biscuit Day with Remarkable John Milton Biscuits

Ella Hawkins

Biscuit set design developed in collaboration with Milton’s Cottage

Our article about the marvellous literary baking skills of design historian, author, and artist Ella Hawkins was one of our most popular posts online and in print last year, so we were delighted to hear that she has now turned her attentions to producing John Milton themed biscuits.

Ella, who is a Teaching Fellow in Early Modern English at the University of Birmingham, has put together a set of biscuits inspired by the place where Milton wrote Paradise Lost, now the Milton's Cottage in Chalfont St Giles which is one of the oldest writer’s house museums in the world.

The biscuits have a flavour of rose, the most-mentioned plant in Paradise Lost after the Forbidden Tree, and have a Royal icing base with designs either piped in Royal icing or painted on using food colouring gels and vodka. Each biscuit depicts a rare book or artefact featured in the Milton’s Cottage collection.

This is the key to the biscuit set:

Ella Hawkins

1. Frontispiece of The History of Britain, 1670

2. Royal proclamation suppressing two political books by Milton, 1660

3. Detail from the 1660 proclamation

4. Detail from The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, 1649

5. The design of a decorative plate picturing Milton's Cottage

6. Detail from a map of Buckinghamshire, 1642-62 by Blaeu

7. Portrait of John Milton taken from the frontispiece of Paradise Lost, 1674, second edition

8. Title page of Paradise Lost, 1669, first edition

9. Detail of illustration from the 1688 fourth edition of Paradise Lost, the first to be illustrated

10. Spine of Milton's Poetical Works

11. Detail from The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, 1649

12. Title page of Areopagitica, 1644

13. The sign that marks out Milton's Cottage in Chalfont St Giles

The biscuits will be on public display at Milton's Cottage from May 29 until October 29 alongside the rare books and items that inspired the set. May 29 is also National Biscuit Day and Ella will be running a free drop-in workshop on site from 11am to 1pm as part of its Making Sense of Milton multi-sensory season of events,