London: printed for James Hodges, 1750.
Octavo (20 x 13 cm.), [i-ii; i-]x, [1-]379, [i-xix],  pages. Engraved frontispiece by I. Rops. Table of contents. Publisher’s advertisements at rear. ~ FIRST EDITION. The only issue (barring modern re-issues) of a wide-ranging and fascinating work. William Ellis, a farmer at Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire for thirty years, details a wide variety of culinary and medicinal recipes, and gives advice on farmyard and household management. In addition to working as a farmer, Ellis was employed as a writer by the publisher, Osborne. Maclean praises the book for being “firmly based on experience in a given region – Essex and the country around it. It is one of the eighteenth-century books which conveys a feeling of direct communication and of confidence that the author invariably knew what he was talking about” (Maclean). Bitting, on the other hand observes that the “work shows a coarse form of expression in regard to details” (Bitting). One unusual feature is that Ellis not only gives medical 'receipts' but also offers reports on individual cures: "For a Stone-Cholick. – One Mr. Fennel of Leighton says, That he has taken 40 Drops of Balsam of Sulphur for the Stone-Cholick, by dropping them in the Middle of a Glass of White-wine, which made it look like the Yolk of an Egg, and then went to Bed. This he did once a Week for some time, and it made him piss Stones on the Ground as big as a Thetch, after being troubled with the Gravel 20 Years" (page 280). The text block is remarkably good condition, with only a bit of age-toning and spotting. Rebound in modern full brown calf, with new endpapers. Blind-tooled border and spine compartments; gilt-titled spine label on red calf. A very good copy. [OCLC locates thirty-two copies; Bitting, page 143; Cagle 664; Maclean, page 43; Oxford page 79-80; Simon BG 388].