The Improved Housewife. Or Book of Receipts: with Engravings for Marketing and Carving... Twentieth Edition, revised : with supplement and perpetual calendar.

Hartford: Ira Webster, 1854.

Octavo, xi, 12-236 pages. Frontispiece, plus folding, hand-colored plate. Illustrated with woodcuts in the text. First edition, likely 14th or 15th printing, although styled the Twentieth Edition on title page. "Mrs. Webster was at best, what one would call a good plain cook, and yet she too reflects some of the virtues of her time", writes Karen Hess, who stops to point out that up to Mrs. Webster, "most cookbook writers... measured dry ingredients by weight rather than volume." Mrs. Webster advises measuring rather than weighing, a serious step in the degradation of American cooking skills. This book is also one of the first to include a recipe for bread made with Sylvester Graham's flour, and Hess stops again to lament that "one of our earliest "health"-bread recipes is also one of the first to call for sweetening - a pattern that has only intensified since." Gift inscription from 1856 to the front fly. Some very light soiling throughout, otherwise very good or better, in publisher's gilt and blind stamped green cloth, with some wear to the head and foot of the highly decorated spine. [Cagle 796-800 (earlier editions); Lowenstein 626].

Price: $250.00

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