Bee Wilson

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Beatrice Dorothy "Bee" Wilson (born 7 March 1974, Oxford) is a British food writer and historian. Wilson is married to the political scientist David Runciman and lives in Cambridge. The daughter of A. N. Wilson and the Shakespearean scholar Katherine Duncan-Jones,[1] her sister is Emily Wilson, a Classicist at the University of Pennsylvania.


She was formerly a research fellow in the history of ideas at St John's College Cambridge, working on the history of political thought. Her PhD (from Trinity College, Cambridge) was on early French utopian socialism.[2] She also attended the University of Pennsylvania on a Thouron Award fellowship.

For five years from 1998 she was the food critic of the New Statesman magazine, where she wrote about such subjects as Adolf Hitler's diet,[3] melons,[4] the history of soup[5] and school meals.[6] Since 2003, she has written a weekly food column ('The Kitchen Thinker') in Stella magazine (The Sunday Telegraph)[7] for which she has three times been named the Guild of Food Writers food journalist of the year, in 2004, 2008 and 2009.[8]

Wilson is a regular book reviewer for The Sunday Times and The Times Literary Supplement, for whom she has written articles on the history of bread,[9] and coffee[10] In 2008, she wrote a critic at large article for The New Yorker on the 'end of food'.[11] Wilson has also contributed articles to the London Review of Books, especially on film [12]

She is the author of three books, The Hive: The Story of the Honeybee and Us (2004), Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee, the Dark History of the Food Cheats (2008), a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat (Basic Books; October, 2012).


  • The Hive: The Story of the Honeybee and Us, John Murray, 2004
  • Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee, John Murray (UK) and Princeton University Press (US) 2008
  • Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat, Basic Books, 2012


  1. ^ "Beatrice D. Wilson (I18438)",
  2. ^ B.D. Wilson Charles Fourier and Questions of Women, University of Cambridge, Faculty of History, 2002
  3. ^ Bee Wilson "Mein Diat - Adolf Hitler's diet", New Statesman, 9 October 1998. (Archived version)
  4. ^ Bee Wilson "Bee Wilson searches for the Perfect Melon", The New Statesman, 27 May 2002
  5. ^ Bee Wilson "Rumford's Admirers Believe his Soup could change the world", New Statesman, 24 July 1998
  6. ^ Bee Wilson "Food", New Statesman, 17 March 2002
  7. ^ "Bee Wilson: factory food". The Daily Telegraph (London). 8 June 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Guild Of Food Writers". Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  9. ^ Bee Wilson, Bee "The Baguette is Back", Times Literary Supplement, 6 June 2007
  10. ^ Bee Wilson "Smell the Coffee", Times Literary Supplement, 31 October 2007
  11. ^ Bee Wilson "The Last Bite: Is the World's Food System Collapsing?", The New Yorker, 19 May 2008
  12. ^ "LRB · Bee Wilson". Retrieved 2009-07-27. 

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