Preserving on Paper: Seventeenth-Century Englishwomen's Receipt Books
Published: June 2017© 2017
392 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in
Apricot wine and stewed calf’s head, melancholy medicine and "ointment of roses."
Welcome to the cookbook Shakespeare would have recognized. Preserving on Paper is a critical edition of three seventeenth-century receipt books–handwritten manuals that included a combination of culinary recipes, medical remedies, and household tips which documented the work of women at home. Kristine Kowalchuk argues that receipt books served as a form of folk writing, where knowledge was shared and passed between generations. These texts played an important role in the history of women’s writing and literacy and contributed greatly to issues of authorship, authority, and book history. Kowalchuk’s revelatory interdisciplinary study offers unique insights into early modern women’s writings and the original sharing economy.
Note on the Text
Three Seventeenth-Century Receipt Books:
I. MS V.a.430
Receipt Book attributed to Mary Granville and Anne Granville D’Ewes
Translations of Spanish Recipes
II. MS V.a.20
Receipt Book attributed to Constance Hall
III. MS V.a.450
Cookery and Medical Receipt Book attributed to Lettice Pudsey
Culinary, Medical, and Household Terms Glossary
‘These remarkable 17th century books invite us to consider which forms of writing are actually woven into the fabric of how we live, and who is producing them.’Eugenia Zuroski, Literary Review of Canada May 2017
"Readers will enjoy the peek through a 17th century kitchen window that Preserving on Paper offers, but they will also find the recipes and remedies delightful."
Liane Faulder, The Edmonton Journal, August 11, 2017
"Studies of manuscript production, circulation, and use have been among the most exciting of recent historiography, pushing the boundaries of how we imagine politics, literacy, and culture. Kristine Kowalchuk’s thoughtful and engaging collection of women’s receipt books joins this literature, pressing readers to consider both context and form of this ‘largely unconsidered or misunderstood genre’. "Lucy Kaufman, Sixteenth Century Journal vol. 49, no. 1 2018
"Offering semidiplomatic transcriptions of three seventeenth-century women’s manuscript recipe collections held at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Preserving on Paper will be a valuable tool for students and researchers… This volume takes a delightful range of recipes and makes them accessible for a modern reader."Edith Snook, University of New Brunswick, EMWJ, vol 13 no 2, Spring '19
"These three meticulously transcribed manuscripts offer a fascinating glimpse into the realm of the seventeenth-century housewife as she moves from baking plum cakes and preserving gooseberry wine to putting together cough medicines and potions to cure deafness. An absorbing glossary and a thoughtful introduction make this book a wonderful resource for anyone interested in the transition from the rural medieval world where communal traditions going back to Antiquity were transmitted orally to the individualistic, urban modern world of printed texts."Rachel Laudan, author of 'Cuisine & Empire: Cooking in World History'