The Country Housewife's Family Companion: or profitable directions for whatever relates to the management and good oeconomy of the domestick concerns of a country life, According to the Present Practice of the Country Gentleman's, the Yeoman's, the Farmer's, &c. Wives, in the Counties of Hertford, Bucks, and other Parts of England: Shewing How great Savings may be made in Housekeeping: And wherein, among many others, The following Heads are particularly treated of and explained: I. The Preservation and Improvement of Wheat, Barley, Rye, Oats, and other Meals ; with Directions for making several Sorts of Bread, Cakes, Puddings, Pies, &c. II. Frugal Management of Meats, Fruits, Roots, and all Sorts of Herbs ; best Methods of Cookery ; and a cheap Way to make Soups, Sauces, Gruels, &c. III. Directions for the Farm Yard ; with the best Method of increasing and fatning all Sorts of Poultry, as Turkies, Geese, Ducks, Fowls, &c. IV. The best Way to breed and fatten Hogs ; sundry curious and cheap Methods of preparing Hogs Meat ; Directions for curing Bacon, Brawn, pickled Pork, Hams, &c. with the Management of Sows and Pigs. V. The best Method of making Butter and Cheese, with several curious Particulars containing the whole Management of the Dairy. VI. The several Ways of making good Malt ; with Directions for brewing good Beer, Ale, &c. With Variety of Curious Matters, Wherein are contained frugal Methods for victualling Harvest-Men, Ways to destroy all Sorts of Vermine, the best Manner of suckling and fattening Calves, Prescriptions for curing all Sorts of Distempers in Cattle, with Variety of curious Receits for Pickling, Preserving, Distilling, &c. The whole founded on near thirty years experience by W. Ellis, Farmer, at Little Gaddesden, near Hempsted, Hertfords.

London: printed for James Hodges, 1750.

Octavo (20 x 13 cm.), [i-ii; i-]x, [1-]379, [i-xix], [2] 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].

Price: $1,200.00