The Improved Housewife. Or Book of Receipts: with Engravings for Marketing and Carving. The Second Edition, revised.
Hartford: A.L. Webster [Stereotyped by R.H. Hobbs], 1844.
Octavo, xi, 12-214 pages. Frontispiece, plus woodcuts in the text. First edition, second printing, although styled Second Edition on the 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." Foxing and some dark spotting throughout. Textblock pulling and separated at first two signatures. In publisher's gilt and blind-stamped brown cloth, in some wear, but not not unattractive. Good only. Previous owner's name in ink to front fly. With a handwritten recipe, on the rear free endpaper in pencil, for Pea Beer, a beer made form the shells of green peas. [OCLC locates twelve copies of this second printing; Bitting 429; Cagle 797; Lowenstein 328].