England, 1890s. Journal of manuscript food recipes compiled from contributions of friends, a few news clippings, and surely family tradition. All text is in English. 8vo. 88 pages in manuscript, plus 8 page index at rear, paginated in manuscript by the homemaker. Black roan boards with gilt ruled borders, original red marbled endpapers. Volume measures approximately 13 x 19,5 x 2 cm. This volume is unique in that the recipes originate from multiple contributors, some of whom write their entries in their own hand. Beginning in an elderly hand, with each recipe being attributed to a specific person, this volume exudes the traits of a gift for a new bride, with friends, relatives, and the community as a whole, imparting their specialties for the proper Victorian homemaker to prepare for her husband and house guests. "The Queen & the Omelette" is the heading of one article, which presents a recipe for an "omelettte aux fines herbes" along with the report of Queen Victoria, accompanied by Princess Christian [Helena] and Princess Beatrice visiting the School of Cookery at the International Exhibition at Kensington "at quarter-past ten o'clock" to observe the cooking demonstration. This event had taken place on 9 May 1873 and is described in full in "Demons of Domesticity: Women and the English Gas Industry, 1889-1939" by Anne Clendinning. With a hint of foreign influence, indeed appropriate at the height of the British Empire, we find recipes for Russian Sauce for Cold Meat, Coconut Pastry, Ginger Pudding, Ginger Mould, German Rice Pudding, Fig Pudding, Sultana Pudding, French Pancakes, etc. One of the recipes was drawn from the "Midland News" which was founded in 1889 by Scottish-American millionaire Andrew Carnegie and radical Liberal Party member Thomas Graham, with headquarters in Wolverhampton. On the adjacent page, a recipe for lemon pudding bears the date 1891, this one being from "Jane in Smallbrook Street," presumably in Birmingham, West Midlands. Thus we ascertain the time period of the volume, and likely geographical location.
Author Midlands Victorian Homemaker
Condition Wear to boards and spine, separating at hinge, otherwise internally very good, a neatly organized volume of traditional fare.