The Handbook of Dining; or, Corpulency and Leanness Scientifically Considered... Comprising the art of dining on correct principles consistent with easy digestion, the avoidance of corpulency, and the cure of leanness, by Brillat-Savarin. Translated by L.F. Simpson.
New York: D. Appleton and Company, 443 & 445 Broadway, 1865.
Small octavo (18.5 x 12 cm.), 200,  pages. Advertisements. The First American Edition of Leonard Francis Simpson's English language translation of Brillat-Savarin's magnificent Physiologie du Gout. The earliest English language translation was that of Fayette Robinson, published in Philadelphia in 1854. Simpson's translation here is quite unfaithful to the original, admitting in the Introduction that "Many parts are, however, condensed, others omitted, as not suited to the present tone of society." Starting in 1864, editions of Simpson's translation (published in the UK) strayed even further, with emphasis placed on a rejection of gourmandise, and the title to what we have here. Quite a departure from Brillat-Savarin's original. But the translator did have high hopes for this book to affect a change upon Britain, and presumably in America with this issue. The Translator's Preface has been omitted in this edition, which is a shame, as it takes the form of a discussion among Olympians, where the goddess Gasterea speaks up to Jupiter, informing him that, "There is a race... of bold sea-girt islanders who worship me well in their way; indeed, mighty fires of coal never cease to burn in my honour; but it a melancholy fact, that London does not know 'How to Dine!'" The author proposes a reform movement starting with this book. In publisher's blind ruled and gilt-titled burgundy cloth. Very near fine. [Bitting, page 437; Cagle 104].