The Old Culinary Text Project

In the 1980s, when Alan and Jane Davidson were building up Prospect Books and PPC, as well as Alan researching and reading for the Oxford Companion, he conceived the plan of collecting photocopies of early cookery books. This would be a useful reference for himself and a helpful resource for people who found such texts difficult to locate, or access to the national libraries too complicated and inconvenient. Now that so much is available through the Internet, the exercise might seem supererogatory, but the deed was done and we have the texts.

When Alan finished the Companion, he tidied up his library, if only to make room for materials for his new preoccupation with Hollywood. The culinary texts were generously given house-room by Fiona Lucraft in Cambridgeshire. She felt that they might be more accessible through the good offices of Prospect Books, so I have taken them over and they were the first things to be moved to the new library built on the top floor of one of our small barns.

I give below a short catalogue of the collection. It may still be true that people will find reference to one text or another really helpful in their research, so anyone is welcome to ask for one to be sent to them. My suggestion is that if a returnable deposit of £50 is made with each request, it will keep such transactions honest. The only cost will be postage. The answer therefore to anyone who wishes to borrow one of these texts is to apply to me by e-mail which can be found on the contacts page.

Pre-17th century European cookery books and essays

  1. Essay on and some recipes from a 13th-C. north European cookbook (unbound).
  2. Arnald of Villanova’s Book on Wine. Translation from the German version: ed. 1478 (unbound). Essay and translation.
  3. Le Livre de Taillevent (14th C.), published 1615 (unbound).
  4. Libre de totes maneres de confits (14th C.) (unbound). Essay and some recipes.
  5. Das buch von guter spise (14th C.) (unbound). Essay and recipes.
  6. Kuchenmeisterei (1490) (unbound). Introduction only, with illustrations.
  7. Platine en franccys… (French text of ?De Honesta Voluptate, 1474) (comb-bound), published 1519.
  8. Le Grand Cuisinier de toutes cuisines, by Pierre Pidoulx, published (?) 1540 (comb-bound).
  9. Menu de la maison de la Reyne faict par Mons. Pinguillon, published 1562 (unbound).
  10. Epulario, or, The Italian Banquet, published 1598 (comb-bound), translated from the Italian.
  11. (Essay) Un Petit Traité de Cuisine (14th C.).
  12. (Essay) Deux Traités inédits d’art culinaire mediéval, by Marianne Mulon.
  13. (Article) Aliments et Recettes Culinaires des Byzantines, by E. Jeanselme and L. Oeconomus (1923).
  14. (Essay) A Medieval Sauce-Book, by Lynn Thorndike.
  15. Anonymous French thesis [?] on 15th–16th C. French cookery books.

    17th and 18th century cookery books and essays in French

  16. Le Cuisinier François, by La Varenne, published 1651 (unbound).
  17. Le Nouveau Cuisinier, by Pierre de Lune, published 1662 (comb-bound, 3 copies).
  18. Maistre d’Hostel Royal, by Pierre de Lune, published 1662 (comb-bound).
  19. Le Cuisinier Moderne, by Vincent La Chapelle, published 1742 (comb-bound).
  20. French essay on 17th–18th century cookery books by Alain Girard.
  21. Paper given by Mons. Herbodeau to Oxford University (concerns food history).

    French cookery books translated into English

  22. The French Cook, by La Varenne, translated by I.D.G., published 1653 (unbound, 2 copies).
  23. A Perfect School of Instructions for Officers of the Mouth, by Giles Rose, 1653 (unbound).
  24. The Art of Modern Cookery Displayed, by Menon, translated by a foreigner, 1767 (unbound).
  25. The Professed Cook, by Menon, translated by B. Clermont, 1776 (unbound).
  26. The Royal Parisian Pastrycook, by Carême, translated by John Porter, 1834 (comb-bound).

    15th and 16th century cookery books in English

  27. A Noble Boke of Cokery, published c. 1500.
  28. The Schoolemaster or Teacher of Table Phylosophie, published 1583 (unbound), first treatise only, dealing with food and manners.
  29. The Widowes Treasure, published 1585 (unbound).
  30. The Good House-wives Treasurie, published 1588 (comb-bound).
  31. The Good Huswives Handmaid, published c. 1590 (comb-bound and modern reprint).
  32. Dyets Dry Dinner, by Henry Buttes, published 1599 (unbound).

    17th century cookery books in English

  33. A Closet for Ladies and Gentlemen, published 1608 (comb-bound), first section only, containing all culinary receipts.
  34. The English Hus-wife, by Gervase Markham, 1615 (unbound).
  35. Murrel’s Two Books of Cookeries and Carving, by John Murrell, fifth edition with additions of 1638 (pasted-in book).
  36. The Ladies Cabinet Opened, 1639 (pasted-in book).
  37. A Hermetical Banquet, Drest by a Spagiricall Cook, published 1652 (comb-bound).
  38. The Ladies Companion, published 1653/4? (unbound).
  39. A True Gentlewoman’s Delight, by W.J., published 1653 (unbound).
  40. The Art of Cookery Refin’d, by Jos. Cooper, 1654 (bound, 3 copies).
  41. The Ladies Cabinet Enlarged and Opened, by Lord Ruthven, published 1654 (comb-bound, 4 copies).
  42. Archimagirus Anglo-Gallicus, copied from a choice manuscript of Sir Theodore Mayerne, physician to the late King Charles, published 1658 (comb-bound).
  43. The Cook’s Guide, by Hannah Woolley, 1664 (comb-bound).
  44. The Ladies Delight, by Hannah Woolley, published 1672.
  45. The Gentlewoman’s Companion, by Hannah Woolley, 1675 (comb-bound).
  46. The Queen-like Closet, by Hannah Woolley, fifth edition, 1684 (comb-bound).
  47. Kitchin Physick, by [?]Thomas Cocke, 1676 (bound).
  48. The Compleat Cook’s Guide, published 1677 (comb-bound).
  49. The True Way of Preserving and Candying, published 1681 (unbound).
  50. The True Preserver and Restorer of Health, by G. Hartman, 1682.
  51. The Accomplished Ladies Rich Closet of Rarities, by John Shirley, published 1690?/1696? (bound).
  52. A Belfast Cookery Book of Queen Anne’s Time, c. 1711. Articles and recipes of Margaret McBride.

    18th century cookery books in English

  53. England’s Newest Way, by Henry Howard, third edition, 1710– (pasted-in book and unbound).
  54. England’s Newest Way, by Henry Howard, fifth edition, 1713 (unbound).
  55. The Queen’s Royal Cookery, by T. Hall, second edition, 1719 (unbound).
  56. A Collection of Receipts in Cookery, by Mary Kettilby, second edition, 1719 (unbound).
  57. Court Cookery, by R. Smith, 1725 (unbound).
  58. The Industrious Country-Man and Virtuous House-Wife’s Companion, by James Dunbar, published 1737 (unbound).
  59. The Compleat City and Country Cook, by Charles Carter, second edition with large additions, 1736 (unbound).
  60. The London and Country Cook, by (the late?) Charles Carter, ?third edition, 1749 (fragile book and photocopy).
  61. The Family Magazine, by ?Arabella Atkyns, 1741.
  62. The Accomplish’d Servant-maid, by Eliza Johnston, 1747 (comb-bound).
  63. Bradshaw’s Valuable Family Jewel, by Penelope Bradshaw, 1748 (unbound).
  64. A New and Easy Method of Cookery, by Elizabeth Cleland, 1755 (pasted-in book).
  65. The British Housewife, by Martha Bradley, 1756 (bound, second volume only).
  66. A Collection of the most approved receipts in Pastry, published in Aberdeen, undated (unbound).
  67. The Art of Confectionary, by Edward Lambert, c. 1744 (comb-bound).
  68. The Compleat Confectioner, by Hannah Glasse, c.1760 (comb-bound, 3 copies).
  69. Art of Cookery or The Compleat-Housewife, by Alice Smith, published in 1760 (unbound, incomplete).
  70. Primitive Cookery, 1767 second edition (comb-bound, 2 copies).
  71. Madam Johnson’s Present, by Madam Johnson, 1769 fifth edition (pasted-in book, pages missing).
  72. The Practice of Modern Cookery, by George Dalrymple, 1781 (comb-bound).
  73. The Universal Cook, by Mrs Maria Stanhope, 1783 (comb-bound).

    19th and 20th century cookery books in English

  74. A New System of Domestic Cookeryi, by a Lady, by Mrs Rundell, 1806 (unbound).
  75. Charitable Cookery, by Alexis Soyer, c. 1840 (unbound).
  76. The Whole Art of Curing, Pickling and Smoking Meat and Fish, by James Robinson, 1847 (comb-bound).
  77. The Gourmet’s Guide to Rabbit Cooking, by an Old Epicure, 1859 (unbound).
  78. A Practical Cookery Book, by Mrs Haldane, 1936 (unbound).

    Cookery books from the rest of the world

  79. The Young Housekeeper, by William A. Alcott, 1838, Boston (unbound).
  80. The Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning, by Ellen H. Richards, 1882, Boston (comb-bound).
  81. Cookery for the Manyi, by an Australian Aristologist, 1864 (comb-bound, 2 volumes).
  82. Arte Cisoria o tratado del Arte del Cortar del Cuchilloi, 1766 (unbound, pages 28–53, 122–129 and 196–197).
  83. Yuan Mei?i, ? edition (unbound).
  84. Turkish Cookery Book, by Turabi Efendi, 1864 (unbound).
  85. Koge-bog, Anon., 1616, first printed cookbook in Denmark.
  86. Vasa Qver, by Marta Maria Stephensen, 1800, first printed cookbook in Iceland.