Manuscript recipe book from Mrs. Stephens of Maidstone, Kent. Containing 17 handwritten pages of cookery recipes. Contemporary red sheep over stitched card; scuffing to front and back covers; shelf-wear to spine. Library shelf-mark in pencil on upper pastedown. Contemporary ownership inscriptions on pastedown. Text block detached, with one leaf loose and one additional leaf laid in. Book plate of John Marks tipped in to first leaf. A unique compilation of regional recipes.
Mrs. Stephens’ book is comprised of 24 cookery recipes, two perfume formulas, and one medicinal receipt. The assortment of holiday cookery instructions – including fig pudding, Christmas pudding, and snow cream – as well as emerging household favorites such as violet charlotte combine with perfume and medicine receipts to reveal the dynamic work being done in women’s household kitchens at the time. Ranging from the culinary to the cosmetic, Mrs. Stephens’ manuscript provides a valuable glimpse into the kitchens of a rising middle class in England. (Item #1967)