Cooking and Castle Building.

[N.p. by the author], 1890.

Octavo (18 x 12.5 cm.), 216 pages. A later edition of a work first published by James Osgood in 1880, and later by Fairbanks, Palmer in 1883 and 1890. The author promises to "not add another to the list of abominations miscalled cook-books, in which it is impossible to find a recipe whereby an unskilled or inexperienced housewife can make a loaf of bread equal to that made by our best bakers." Instead Mrs. Ewing has given us an earnest and occasionally breezy dialogue with a touch of modern romance. Throughout, there are cooking tips and recipes in dialogue form. Some of the book takes place in, or draws references from, Europe. Had it been set in Provence, I'd now be describing it as the Ur-text of an entire sub-genre of chick lit. Still, it's an early example of the chatty modern narrative cookbook, and a charming one at that. Internally a bit of age-toning and foxing, but otherwise bright and clean. The black and gilt-stamped brown cloth has some very light wear, but it otherwise very good. Is the book a novel?
"A little like a novel."
"Or, is it a cook-book?"
"A good deal like a cook-book."
"Or a volume of sermons?"
"Very like a volume of sermons."
"Ah well! then it must be a good book."
"O yes! a remarkably good book."

-- from the preface

Price: $200.00

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