top of page

Mrs Maclurcan's Cookery Book


$595 AUD

Maclurcan, H. [ Hannah 1860-1936]

Mrs Maclurcan's Cookery Book: a collection of practical recipes specially suitable for Australia - 8th Edition revised & enlarged.

Melbourne: George Robertson & Co, 1908 (printed by Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome & London)

8vo (185x135mm) Hardcover Quarter Bound Beige Cloth, professionally rebacked cloth spine, black lettered boards [vi],482,[2]pp. Possibly lacks front & rear free endpapers (?); small tear (no loss of text) to preface p [v]; front advert toned; boards lightly stained, worn & rubbed, cnrs rounded; edges spotted; very occassional  spotting to text, some pencil notations. A solid, complete clean copy of a scarce text.

Born to English/Scottish Jewish hotelier parents in Brisbane in 1860, Hannah Maclurcan (nee Phillips, formerly Wigham) was a signicant Australian hotelier, publican, food writer.  She grew up in hotels, working every section starting in the kitchens.  By 1875 (aged 15) she was managing one of the family's hotels.  Married in 1880, she was widowed, and in 1887 she married Donald Maclurcan, a hotelier.  Together they ran significant hotels in Townsville, Queensland.  In 1898 she self-published her Cookery Book in Townsville, which was to run to 20 editions by 1930. In 1901 she and her husband took on the lease of the Wentworth Hotel Sydney, and after she was widowed a third time in 1903, she managed the hotel herself, buying the freehold in 1912 and turning the Wentworth into a grand hotel renowned for its fine cuisine and cold buffets;  the centre of Sydney society and the favourite of celebrity guests (including The Prince of Wales in 1920).  Hannah Maclurcan continued as the Managing Director of the Wentworth Hotel until 1932.

One of Australia's early 'local' cookery books, 'Mrs Maclurcan's Cookery Book' includes recipes using indigenous, local and tropical ingredients (e.g. pineapple, prickly pear, rosellas, kangaroo, wallaby, barramundi) and arguably shows the influence of Chinese immigration and labour in Far North Queensland at the time (e.g. Beche-de-Mer Soup, Devilled Whitebait, Fried Rice with chili, and the use of fresh (not powdered) ginger in Kangaroo tail soup & other dishes).  A number of Jewish recipes are also included and seperately identified.

This 1908 edition also incorporates recipes relevant to the establishment of the Wentworth Hotel as one of the 'Grand Hotels' of the Southern Hemisphere and shows Australian cuisine at the height of Federation, just before World War I.  Indicative of the financial success of the author is the lack of advertisments for anything other than her own products, Champagne & High Class Drinks and the Wentworth Hotel.

OCLC records only 1 physical copy of this edition held State Library NSW; and only 2 physical copies of any editions held outside of Australia.

[Hoyle 791-792 other editions; Austin p78; Driver 657-8 other editions; Ferguson 12090-1 other editions]


More items from

Books for Cooks

bottom of page