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The Experienced English Housekeeper


$750 AUD

RAFFALD, Elizabeth [Whitaker, (1733 – 1781)]

The Experienced English Housekeeper: for the use and ease of ladies, housekeepers, cooks etc. written purely from practice. Dedicated to the Hon Lady Elizabeth Warburton whom the author lately served as housekeeper.  Consisting of several hundred original receipts, most of which never appeared in print. A New Edition in which are inserted some celebrated receipts by other modern authors.


London: the booksellers & by T. Wilson & R. Spence, Printers, High-Ousegate, York 1806. Printed at the office of T. Wilson & R. Spence, High-Ousegate, York.

8vo (210x130mm) half tan calf over marbled boards, six compartments, gilt lettered & decorated [2], [frontispiece], vii,[1], [plate],397,[3], [2] pp. Engraved frontispiece of an older Mrs Raffald attributed to Hampton, Prince & Cattles, York (silversmiths of York) and three folding plates, one of a stove and two table settings.


New endpapers, recently professionally rebound. Frontispiece lightly soiled, small tear to bottom edge not affecting the text; light water-stain to first 50pps including plate 1; several neat pencil marks, else clean throughout; top right corner of title page torn (presumably removal of previous owner’s name) not affecting the text.


Raffald was an extraordinary woman for her time, in addition to writing this book, establishing Manchester’s newspaper, first post office, first street directories, as well as two inns, a servant’s placement agency, a cookery school, a pastrycooks’ shop, and a pleasure garden, as well as allegedly having some 15 or 16 children in as many years (she died when 48).  First published in 1769, this was an extremely popular, and much pirated work. Its popularity can be attributed to its simplicity and clarity, a style akin to the next generation’s Eliza Acton.  Many preserving and still-room recipes are included.


This edition is not recorded in the usual bibliographies.  Oxford p.98 notes a 13th ed published 1806 as does Simon 1249 and Vicaire p727, but not this version.  Cagle at 944-953 (953 particularly) and Aylett & Ordish’s First Catch Your Hare at p130, suggest that this is a reprint (pirated?) of the first edition.  Maclean, pp121-124, Bitting p387, Hazlitt p176 and Pennell p161, all list earlier editions.


OCLC records only four copies of this edition


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