The Cook and Housewife's Manual. A Practical System of Modern Domestic Cookery and Family Management.
Edinburgh; London: Oliver & Boyd, Tweddale Court; Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., 1856.
Duodecimo (17 x 11 cm.), xv, 688 pages. Index. Table of contents. Illustrated. Bills of Fare. Publisher's advertisements. Stated "Tenth Edition, Carefully Revised and Enlarged". An extensive household compendium, with twelve hundred fifty-four recipes in narrative form. According to Oxford, this book first appeared in 1826. The sixth edition was the first to incorporate, "A Treatise on Domestic Brewing". Christina Johnstone was a Scottish novelist; De Quincy cites her along with Joanna Baillie, as an example of a woman "cultivating the profession of authorship with absolutely no sacrifice or loss of feminine dignity". She also taught cooking in both London and in the states. Her pseudonym here, Mistress Margaret Dods, is the name of the landlady in Sir Walter Scott's St. Ronan's Well and it is rumored that Scott wrote the original preface for this work. A delight to read, with recipes accompanied by lively stories: for example: after a page and a half of careful instruction on how to properly boil a turbot, the author relates this story: " ...a Bishop descending to his kitchen to superintend the dressing of a turbot, and finding that his cook had stupidly cut away the fins, set about sewing them on again with his own Episcopal fingers. This dignitary knew the values of turbot." Some light soiling and age-toning throughout. In publisher's blind and gilt-stamped light brown cloth. Titled and decorated in gilt at the spine. Extremities worn, hinges a bit frayed but holding; repairs to head and foot of spine. A good copy. [OCLC locates just three copies of this edition (Kansas State, Schlesinger, U. of Alberta); Oxford, page 158 (other editions)].