Mouse and rat has been a staple of cities under prolonged siege since time immemorial.
Back in the days of wooden ships and iron men, the midshipmen of His Majesty's Royal Navy ate the rats on board after the meat ran out. They called them millers. Patrick O'Brian on multiple occasions takes great delight in pointing this out in his sea stories.
The Romans ate dormice. There's an old joke of ancient historians called the dormouse test, which I think was devised by Mary Beard:
The best way to judge a modern recreation of ancient Rome - in film or fiction - is to apply the simple "dormouse test". How long is it before the characters adopt an uncomfortably horizontal position in front of tables, usually festooned with grapes, and one says to another: "Can I pass you a dormouse?"
The basic rule of thumb is this: the longer you have to wait before this tasty little morsel appears on the recreated banquet, the more subtle the reconstruction is likely to be.
There was a book written long ago called Unmentionable Cuisine, by Calvin Schwabe, which was basically an attempt to gross out the reader. (Not that I could ever be accused of doing that...) . Unmentionable Cuisine includes a recipe for Grilled Rats Bordeaux Style, and claims that to this day much of the meat eaten in Ghana is mouse and rat.
And if you think it couldn't happen today...the Canadian biologist Farley Mowat gives this recipe for mouse in his book Never Cry Wolf:
Souris à la crème
Skin, gut and wash some fat mice without removing their heads. Cover them in a pot with ethyl alcohol and marinate 2 hours. Cut a piece of salt pork or sowbelly into small dice and cook it slowly to extract the fat. Drain the mice, dredge them thoroughly in a mixture of flour, pepper, and salt, and fry slowly in the rendered fat for about 5 minutes. Add a cup of alcohol and 6 to 8 cloves, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Prepare a cream sauce, transfer the sautéed mice to it, and warm them in it for about 10 minutes before serving.
This post was written while listening to Don't Fall In Love, by The Ferrets.