The Lady's Companion, Or, an infallible guide to the fair sex: containing rules, directions, and observations for their conduct and behaviour through all ages and circumstances of life as virgins, wives, or widows, with directions and observations for their conduct and behaviour through all ages and circumstances of life, as virgins, wives, or widows ... : to which is added bills of fare for every month of the year ... also rules and receipts of making all the choicest cordials of the closet … The second edition.

London: printed for T. Read, in Dogwell-Court, White-Fryers, Fleet-Street, 1740.

Quarto (18.5 x 14.5 cm.), [2], 653; 664-694 pages, plus plates. Pages 654-663 mis-paginated; pages 529-540 misnumbered 527-538 (but both instance content is complete. Illustrated with fifteen engraved plates of pie shapes and decoration and twenty-four engraved plates of bills of fare, as well as ten woodcuts in the text depicting carving instructions. Stated second edition, but the first to appear with this title; it was originally published in 1737 under the title, The Whole Duty of a Woman. Maclean confirms that only the title page (and title) are changed for this second edition and all subsequent editions, but also that this work is not to be confused with a work of similar title published by Guillim in 1701. Lehman explain the title switch as a rejection of the "obnoxiously old-fashioned title" (Lehman, The British Housewife, page 104 ff.). The first quarter of the book covers rules of behavior guided by the "Wisdom of the Christian Religion", but this section was dropped with the 1754 edition, another shift which Lehman attributes to a growing distinction between books for the housewife (like this one) and those for the servants (who some thought were still in need of some moralizing. Cookery follows the homily, with sections of soops, fish, butcher's meat, cullices and sauces, ragoos, fricasseys, kitchen garden stuff, puddings, pastry, pickling, potting, collaring, confectionery, setting out dinners, marketing, and making English wines. The recipes are drawn from other sources, including Eliza Leslie, Richard Bradley, Charles Carter, and La Chapelle. ~Paper repair (Hhh) effecting one illustration "Trussing a Hare", and another to final leaf (4s4); otherwise generally clean, with some foxing to edges. Rebacked, in full calf with five raised bands, red morocco spine label titled in gilt. Original gilt-ruled boards. Near very good. Rare. [OCLC locates one copy (Boston Public Library); ESTC N19119 (four copies - none in the UK); Cagle 804; Maclean, page 150-1; Oxford, pages 69-70; Pennell, page 149].

Price: $4,000.00

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