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First Catch Your Hare...: The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy: The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy (1747) [Paperback]

Hannah Glasse
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

19 Nov 2004 First Catch Your Hare
Quite simply, the most important-and the most printed-English cookery book of the eighteenth century which defines for many the food and dining customs of the Georgian era. This is a facsimile edition, for the first time in paperback. The hardback version of this book was published by Prospect in 1994. The facsimile is of the first (1747) edition and preserves its large format. This edition also contains considerable information about Hannah Glasse in a biographical introduction, as well as two essays on the degree to which Glasse was indebted to other authors for her recipes. These essays (by Jennifer Stead and Priscilla Bain) were important milestones in our understanding of the techniques of early cookbook compilation when they first appeared. There is also a detailed and informative glossary, with illustrations where necessary, which help the reader interpret the recipes and the ingredients referred to. The book has a modern index. Hannah Glasse was a remarkable woman. She was not a professional cook, rather her expertise was in dressmaking and mercery. Nor was she born with any natural advantages. As the illegitimate offspring of a Northumberland gentleman lawyer, she had to make her way in the world-not greatly helped by a somewhat ineffective husband and large family. Thus she turned to a variety of moneymaking ventures, among which was this book (sold direct through a list of subscribers and the shops of friends rather than the book trade). She seems to be almost self-taught both in literacy (her early letters are by no means models of grammar or spelling) and in cookery. Even if her recipes are often filched from other people's books, she certainly puts her own gloss on many of them, and there is a definite authorial voice to the text as a whole. Glasse's book is particularly significant both in its attitudes to the influence of French cookery on the English middle classes and in its reflection of the roles of mistress and servant in the running of an urban household. Its recipes are often successful and still capable of reproduction in the modern kitchen. The first curry recipe printed in England appears here. Now available in a more compact format.

Product details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Prospect Books; Facsimile of 1747 ed edition (19 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903018374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903018378
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 21.3 x 29.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,296,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint-hearted! 26 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think that anyone thinking about buying this would have to be prepared to do a lot of experimenting and a bit of prior reading research if they wanted to try cooking the recipes for real as some idea of the likely differences between 1747 measures and ingredients and those of the modern day is essential. There is a glossary and commentary, which is very useful in the understanding of the recipes, but it still leaves a lot of questions. It would also be helpful if they are competent cooks as adaptation would be needed frequently. Some of her recipes are somewhat fantastical or plain odd and they had obviously not been tested for real, and were pehaps added to pad out the book, but it is still an amazing view into the kitchen of the Georgian middle classes.As a final point, as with Mrs Beeton the later editions are not the same. I was given a reprint of an 1805 edition and while still fascinating it seems to be a totally different book.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny 7 July 2007
By Kae See - Published on Amazon.com
For anyone interested in colonial American cooking this is your first stop. Thouth not an American cookbook it was the biggest selling and most popular recipet book in the colonies. It is the book from which so many of the other period cookbooks emerged so why go anyplace else? Though it may not be all that easy to understand for the casual reader it will give you an amazing sense of a different time period and what foodways were like 200+ years ago. For the non-foodways historian you'll be amazed how different even the recipes themselves are: little to no measurements, length of cooking, intensity of heat but after you start to read through it you'll realize that many of the foods seem familiar. And you though French Toast was a modern invention! For those true historians it is the bible of the foodways- a great reference and a great standard in which to judge other foodway works.
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