Pant.   Pushpesh     - signed by P. Pant.
INDIA COOKBOOK
Written by: PUSHPESH PANT. THE ONLY COOKBOOK ON INDIAN FOOD YOU'LL EVER NEED. PRODUCE OF INDIA. 1000 RECIPES. REAP #:1-0-06-205. WWW.PHAIDON.COM
FIRST EDITION 2010. 4to. 277x185mm. Pastedown and endpaper with a lovely 'welcome' illustration (see image #2 below). [1] Half-title with an illustration of the sun and rays and signed in orange ink -- "For. Robert Hendry Happy Cooking with warm regards Pushpesh Pant. Title page is a copy of the colourfully illustrated front cover. 2p Contents. (3)9-27 Introduction starting with map of india and portrait of the author, P.Pant. 2p Photograph of spice merchant. (1)31-793. 2 p Illustration for Directory 796-797. 2 p Illustration for Index 800-815. 1p Author's acknowledgements. [1] Illustrated end-paper and paste-down. Fully bound in white hard cardboard covers with an illustration of the sun and rays and bordered in typical Indian colours. The text block is richly illustrated with many two-page colour illustrations in the famous style of hand-painted Indian film posters. With numerous full page photographs of authentic Indian dishes. All the numerous chapters in multi-coloured paper. The book comes in a typical cream coloured Indian cloth bag with the same illustration as the book cover. A nice unusual touch. Pristine condition, as new.
- The author, Pushpesh Pant was born in 1946 in Nainital, northern India, and is a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. A regular recipe columnist and author of many cookbooks, he has spent two decades collecting authentic family recipes from all over the country. He is extremely knowledgeable about the huge diversity of regional Indian cuisines and very passionate when communicating his knowledge. His very popular TV series: Jiggs Kalra's Daawat, conveys the historical origins and diversity of Indian regional cuisines. This fine book fills in some of the recipes missing from the series. Very scarce with the author's signature.

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Modern category
ref number: 11183

Pant.   Pushpesh    
INDIA COOKBOOK
Written by: PUSHPESH PANT. THE ONLY COOKBOOK ON INDIAN FOOD YOU'LL EVER NEED. PRODUCE OF INDIA. 1000 RECIPES. REAP #:1-0-06-205. WWW.PHAIDON.COM
FIRST EDITION 2010. 4to. 277x185mm. Pastedown and endpaper with a lovely 'welcome' illustration (see image #2 below). [1] Half-title with an illustration of the sun and rays. Title page is a copy of the colourfully illustrated front cover. 2p Contents. (3)9-27 Introduction starting with map of india and portrait of the author, P.Pant. 2p Photograph of spice merchant. (1)31-793. 2 p Illustration for Directory 796-797. 2 p Illustration for Index 800-815. 1p Author's acknowledgements. [1] Illustrated end-paper and paste-down. Fully bound in white hard cardboard covers with an illustration of the sun and rays and bordered in typical Indian colours. The text block is richly illustrated with many two-page colour illustrations in the famous style of hand-painted Indian film posters. With numerous full page photographs of authentic Indian dishes. All the numerous chapters in multi-coloured paper. The book comes in a typical cream coloured Indian cloth bag with the same illustration as the book cover. A nice unusual touch. Pristine condition, as new.
- This beautiful book oozes India with a very Indian feel and style to it (you can almost smell the simmering spices!). It has been very well thought out with many innovative ideas to the layout. As someone who has been working and cooking in India for over 40 years, this book strikes me as one of the best so far. The author, Pushpesh Pant (a tongue twister for any westerner) was born in 1946 in Nainital, northern India, and is a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. A regular recipe columnist, author of many cookbooks and host of a very good TV series, he has spent two decades collecting authentic family recipes from all over the country. They have been carefully edited, tested and collated to produce a remarkable collection documenting the rich diversity of Indian cuisine. When one first comes across this book, the unusual way it is presented in the cloth bag (see image #1 below) grabs one's attention immediately and that focus doesn't waver as one peruses the whole volume. This book may well gain and sustain a well deserved, long lasting reputation.

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Information

Modern category
ref number: 11171

Parnell.   Henry     - Rare.
A Collection of Valuable Receipts.
IN VARIOUS BRANCHES OF DOMESTIC ECONOMY, SELECTED FROM THE WORKS OF BRITISH AND FOREIGN WRITERS OF UNQUESTIONABLE AUTHORITY AND EXPERIENCE. BY HENRY PARNELL, OF LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS. London: WILLIAM DARTON, JUN. 58, HOLBORN HILL. Sold by the Booksellers in Town and Country. 1819.
FIRST and possible SOLE EDITION. 174mm x 105mm. 2feps. [1] Frontispiece dated 1822. [1] (1)4-72. 2feps. Original discoloured dark grey covers with rubbed corners. Quarter red cloth. Spine with black label lengthways with gilt lettering. Pages slightly age browned throughout with the frontis and title page a little more. Overall fine.
- There are no copies in the bibliographies nor auction catalogues. Nothing can be found out about Henry Parnell. There is no further information in the book besides that on the title page. The frontis dated 1822 added to the title page dated 1819 is a further curiosity that defies an explanation. It is a curious book with general and diverse receipts, such as 'To detect Dampness in a Bed', or 'Experienced Method of Catching Larks' also 'Method of recovering persons Apparently Drowned'. Incredibly the recipe for “British Champagne” comes after advice on 'How to destroy worms in a gravel path'. COPAC shows only two copies at Oxford, both dated 1819 and one other in the BL dated 1819 with the frontis also dated 1822. A rare item even without proof of other possible editions.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11185

Partridge.   John     - Extremely rare.
THE TREASURY OF Hidden Secrets,
Commonly called, The Good-huswives Closet of provision, for the health of her Household. Gathered out of sundry experiments, lately practised by men of great knowledge: And now newly inlarged with divers necessary Physick helps, and knowledge of the names and disposition of diseases, that most commonly happen to Men and Women. Not imeprtinant for every good Huswife to us ein her House, amongst her own Family. [Printers woodcut device] LONDON, Printed by Jane Bell, and to be sold at the East-end of Christ-Church, 1653.
Quarto, A-I in 4's. 1fep. Title page. [1] A2 - FINIS. [Total pp 63] 3p The Table. 1fep. Original full dark brown calf. Blind tooled border line to boards. Spine with gilt lines and lettering re-laid. Pages are age browned with browning to edges. Text in black letter. Top of one leaf restored without loss. A good copy of an extremely rare book.
- John Partridge was an Elizabethan author of historical poem-romance. The earthy, mundane cookbook was an unusual transgression from the norm. His book, the ‘Treasury of Hidden Secrets’ was a popular 16th and early 17th century English handbook of cookery, herbals, and medicine. First published around 1573, it was printed in London by Richard Jones, and gives John Partridge as the author. It was frequently reprinted for over 75 years; the present volume is that of the 1653 edition printed by Jane Bell. The earliest extant copy of the book is the 1573 edition. Its title was ‘The Treasurie of Commodious Conceits & Hidden Secrets’, reprinted in 1584, again by Jones, the title-page advertised it as 'now the fourth time corrected, and inlarged,' The Elizabethan printer might have been exclusively a printer, or both bookseller and printer; but booksellers were not necessarily printers. Both printers and booksellers in London were tightly controlled, licensed, censored, and fined for violations. Some copies note that Jones’s 1584 printing was 'at Eliot’s Court Press for Henry Car,' suggesting Car as a bookseller who helped to finance the printing. When the book was reprinted in 1591, Richard Jones is now located specifically ‘at the Rose and Crowne neere Holborne bridge.’ The Bodleian’s bibliographic record suggests J. Charlewood as the 1591 printer. Jones is again given as printer for the 1596 edition. The book was again reprinted in 1608. This seems to be the latest date that the name John Partridge occurs in the text; subsequent editions are published anonymously. The next reprint was in 1627, from a new bookseller and printer; the book was ‘Printed [by Eliot’s Court Press] for E.B[rewster] and R.B[yrd], and are to be sold at the ‘signe of the Bible in Cheapside.’ By 1627 the phrase, ‘Commodious Conceits’ had dropped out of the title and the title page identifies it as ‘The Treasurie of Hidden Secrets.’ In 1633 it was first printed by a woman ‘Elizabeth All-de dwelling neere Christs-church.’ Elizabeth was the widow of Edward All-de, a typical London printer whose father, John, was also a printer and whose work and style is well known. In 1637 ‘Treasury’ was ‘printed by Richard Oulton, dwelling neere Christs-church.’ As McKerrow (genealogy resources) suggest that Allde died in 1628, Richard Oulton may have taken over the press from his widow by 1637. Finally, ‘Treasury’ was last reprinted in 1653 'by Jane Bell and to be sold at the East end of Christ-church.' Originals of the 1573 printing are held by the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Henry E. Huntington Library. The only other work attributed to John Partridge is the cookery-medicine book called ‘The Widowes Treasure'. Partridge borrowed from a friend a copy of a household book written for the private use of ‘a gentlewoman in the country’, and decided it was his duty to publish it in 1585 under the title, 'The Widowes Treasure'. Copies of both Partridge's books are extremely rare, with none at auction since 1926. The BL only locates two other copies of the 1653 edition of ‘Treasury of Hidden Secrets’, one in the UK, and one in the US.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11023

Peckham.   Ann     - Very scarce.
THE Complete English COOK
OR PRUDENT HOUSEWIFE.BEING, A Collection of the most general, yet least expen-sive RECEIPTS in every Branch of COOKERY and Good Housewifery, With DIRECTIONS for Roasting, Boiling, Stewing, Ragoos, Soops, Sauces, (a perpendicular separating line) Fricassees, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Cheese-cakes, Custards, Jellies, (a perpendicular separating line) Potting, Candying, Collaring, Pickling, Preserving, Made Wines &c. Together with Directions for placing Dishes on Tables of Entertainment: And many other Things equally ne-cessary. The whole made easy in the meanest Capacity, and far more useful to young beginners than any Book of the Kind extant. (a flat separating line) By ANN PECKHAM, of Leeds, Well know to have been for Forty Years one of the most noted Cooks in the County of York. (a flat separating line) The THIRD EDITION (a flat separating line) TO WHICH IS ADDED A SUPPLEMENT, Containing Forty Nine Receipts, never before printed. (a flat separating line) LEEDS: Printed for Griffith Wright and John Binns: And sold by G. Robinson, and Fielding and Walker, Paster-noster Row; J. Wallis, No. 16, Ludgate-Street, London; and all other Booksellers in Town and Country. [ Price Two Shillings Bound. ]
N/d. 12mo. 2 feps. Title page. [1] (1)iv. Preface. 5-218. 214-242 Illustrated pages of Dinners and Suppers for a whole year. 9 pages of Index. 2 feps. The whole text block lightly age browned throughout. Original dark brown leather boards with slightly scuffed corners. Sympathetically rebound spine in brown leather with raised bands and two red leather labels, with gilt text and lines. Overall, a nice copy of a very scarce title originating in and from Yorkshire.
- Not much can be found out about Ann Peckham, except from her book itself. She writes in her Preface that the recipes are the result of forty years practice in the best families in and about Leeds. She goes further, telling us amusingly, with a touch of Yorkshire plainness and prudence, that the recipes are not fluffed out with a nauseous hodge-podge of French kickshaws; and yet the real delicacies of the most sumptuous entertainments are by no means neglected. Oxford adds in the notes to his copy of Peckham’s Complete Cook, that the title page has been taken boldly from ‘The Complete English Cook’ by Cathrine Brooks. A disconcerting snippet that can't be reconciled in any way without further info or research. One wonders naturally, how much of Brooks’ recipes are also in the text. The first edition appeared in 1767, with a second of 1771. This undated third; circa 1775, is the first with a supplement. MacLean records two 4th editions of 1790. Cagle, page 662; Oxford, page 95; Bitting, page 360, citing a 3rd edition; Vicaire, page 669, also a 3rd edition.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11231

Pegge.   Samuel     14th century recipes of the Master Cooks of Richard 11
THE FORME OF CURY.
A ROLL OF ANCIENT COOKERY, Compiled, about A.D. 1390, by the Master-Cooks of King Richard 11, Presented afterwards to Queen Elizabeth, by Edward Lord Stafford, And now in the Possession of Gustavus Brander, Esq. Illustrated with NOTES, And a copious INDEX, or GLOSSARY. A MANUSCRIPT of the EDITOR, of the same Age and Subject, with other congruous Matters, are Subjoined. "---ingeniosa gula est." MARTIAL LONDON PRINTED BY J. NICHOLS, PRINTER TO THE SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES. M DCC LXXX.
FIRST EDITION - 1st ISSUE. 1780. InSide the green cover, bookplate of Crosby Giage. 1fep. [1] On verso the Frontispiece with a nice ornate illustration of Samuel Pegge. [1] iii-iv dedication from Brander to Pegge. i - xxx Preface. [1] 1page facsimile of the manuscript. xxxi - xxxvi. 1-161 The Forme of Cury. 162 Addenda. 163-164 Advertisement. 163-188 Rolls of Provisions. 2feps. Quarter red red leather with red marbled boards. Spine with gilt lines on raised bands. Gilt title and date. Internally test block and pages in fine clean condition.
- The Forme of Cury (The Method of Cooking) is an extensive collection of medieval English recipes from the 14th century. Originally in the form of a scroll, compiled and listed as "the chief Master Cooks of King Richard II". It is among the oldest English cookery texts, and the first to mention olive oil, gourds, and spices such as mace and cloves. The scroll was written in late Middle English (c. 1390) on vellum and contains about 200 recipes (although the exact number of recipes varies slightly between different versions) with many of the same recipes as 'Ancient Cookery' (Latin: Diuersa seruicia). 'The Forme of Cury' may have been written partly to compete with 'Le Viandier' of Taillevent, a French cookbook created around the same time. This supports the idea that banquets were a symbol of power and prestige for medieval lords and kings. The name, 'The Forme of Cury' was given by Samuel Pegge, who published this edition of the manuscript in 1780 for the curator of the British Museum, Gustavus Brander. The title has come to be used for almost all versions, although they differ from each other. It is one of the best-known medieval guides to cooking. In 2009 another variant of 'The Forme of Cury' from about the same time, but in codex form, was discovered in the John Rylands Library at Manchester University. Samuel Pegge the elder, born 5 November 1704, was an English antiquary and clergyman. Besides the 'Forme of Cury' he wrote seven memoirs in the Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, including The Story of Guy, Earl of Warwick (1783); The History of Eccleshall Manor (1784); The Roman Roads of Derbyshire (1784);[4] The Textus Roffensis (1784) ; History of Bolsover and Peak Castles, Derbyshire (1783). He also wrote a large number of articles for the Gentleman's Magazine from 1746 to 1795, He died, after a fortnight's illness, on 14 February 1796 at age 92. He was buried in the chancel at Whittington, where a mural tablet was installed.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11250

Pellaprat.   Henri-Paul     - An interesting book of its time.
Modern Culinary Art.
THE BEST FRENCH AND FOREIGN COOKERY * COOKERY - PASTRY - SIMPLE CONFECTIONARY *** ENTREMETS - ICES - JAMS **** HOME PRESERVES - DRINKS - ETC. Reputed dishes of foreign cookery - Service of table - Decoration with flowers - Service of wines - Choice and knowledge of foods. Cutting of meats - Dinners * 50 MENUS OF DINNERS, BIRTHDAY, FEASTS, WEDDINGS, ETC. MENUS FOR DIFFERENT DIETS - CURES OF FRUITS * WORK CONTAINING MORE THAN 700 PAGES, 530 OF TEXT, 3,500 recipes clearly stated and necessary explanations 207 illustrated and coloured pages of 480 different dishes 48 pages illustrated in black. by Henri-Paul Pellaprat. Headmaster of the Culinary schools of Officier de L'Instruction Publique et du Merite Agricole Laureat hors concours of the culinary exhibitions. Head editor of corporative works in Paris. Author of several professional books. DEDICATED BY (3 facsimile signatures) E. Herbodeau Chef de cuisine Carlton Hotel, London. (unreadable signature) Chairman of the Cooks Association in Paris. (unreadable signature) Culinary Author. (one long horizontal line) COMPTOIR FRANCAIS DU LIVRE 115, Rue du Foubourg-poissonniere, PARIS [IX]
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION 1937. 4to. 268 x 198 x 60mm. 2feps. Half-title. Verso - Work Plan. Title page. Verso - Exhibitions entered. 5-8 Letters of congratulation. p9 Introduction. [1] 11-719. [1] 721-745(1) Index. 2feps. Half red morocco and marbled boards with large red morocco tips. Spine with raised bands, elaborate gilt tooling and lettering. Excellent condition.
- This book has to be included in a collection of cookery books representative of the progress of cookery thro' the ages. The period between the great wars was an interesting one. Wikipedia informs: "Despite the relatively short period of time, the period represented an era of significant changes worldwide. Petroleum-based energy production and associated mechanisation expanded dramatically leading to the Roaring Twenties, a period of economic prosperity and growth for the middle class in North America, Europe, Asia and many other parts of the world. Automobiles, electric lighting, radio broadcasts and more became common among populations in the developed world. The indulgences of the era subsequently were followed by the Great Depression, an unprecedented worldwide economic downturn that severely damaged many of the world's largest economies". In the UK, between the Armistice of 11th November 1918 and the resumption of pan-European hostilities with Nazi Germany’s genocidal expansionism, the British economy struggled and unemployment was rife. The nation embraced new attitudes, such as welcoming the BBC to the airwaves but also witnessing civil war in Ireland. But the progress was anchored to an ailing economy. Some London restaurants and hotels flourished. Notably; the famous Rosa Lewis at the Cavendish Hotel and her mentor Escoffier at the Carlton Hotel, who retired on 1919. To be succeeded very ably by Eugene Hebodeau. Claridges, the Savoy and the Ritz Hotels were keeping and improving their reputations. Other notable eateries were Kettners in Soho, Rules in Maiden Lane, the great fish restaurant Masion Prunier at St James and a few others that also flourished. Food supplies and fresh produce were poor and dominated by cost and non-availability. It was not until Elizabeth David's books of the 1950's, with their beguiling prose that British people started to wake up to a better diet. To now view Pellaprat's thick book first published in 1937, is to see past the title 'Modern Culinary Art', and understand the illusion. One can see why elaborate decoration of dishes is necessary. This was not fraud but serious, very hard-working Chefs try to lift the gloom and present some fantasy. In these days of super abundant produce, spices and rare exotic foods from everywhere, backed up by televised food and cookery shows and supported by glossy printed productions, one needs to read the title page of Pellaprat's book and see its ambitious aims. Then it can be understood as a noble effort.

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category
ref number: 11329

Pellaprat.   Henri-Paul     - The scarce 1st edition from the French Master.
La Patisserie Pratique
RECUEIL DE RECETTES DE PATISSERIE, CONFISERIE, GLACES FORMANT UN GUIDE PRATIQUE A L'USAGE DES MAITRESSES DE MAISON BOURGEOISE CUISINIERS ET CUISINIERES PAR HENDRI PELLAPRAT Professeur de l'Enseignement Superieur aux Cours et du Cordon-Blue BIBLIOTHEQUE DU JOURNAL * LE CORDON BLUE 129, Fabourg Saint-Honore. 129 PARIS.
FIRST EDITION. n/d circa 1910. 228 x 140 mm. 1fep. Title page with a border and a banner at the top enclosing Pellaprat’s initials. [1] 1p Preface. 1p Avant Propos. (1)6 – 230. (1)232 – 237 Table des Matieres. [1] 1fep. Very lightly age browned through out but overall very good. Red cover with the original back and front covers and spine sympathetically re-laid, with the original black text tooling.
- Henri-Paul Pellaprat born Saint-Maur-des-Fossés 1869, died 1954 was a French chef, and founder with the journalist Marthe Distel, of Le Cordon Bleu school in Paris. He was the author of ‘La cuisine familiale et pratique’ and other classic French cookery texts. He worked from the age of twelve as a pastry boy then cook at many of the most famous restaurants of the La Belle Époque period in Paris, such as the Maison Dorée. As time passed, he realized that his real calling was teaching and he accepted a professorship at Le Cordon Bleu. He taught at the school for forty years. Those who attended the courses in the early years of this century had the privilege of learning French cuisine from one of the recognised great master chefs of the day. Two of his students included Maurice Edmond Sailland, later known as Curnonsky, and Raymond Oliver. During this time he wrote his master-work ‘L'Art Cullinaire Modern’e. It was translated into five languages, and appeared in English as ‘The Great Book of French Cookery’. It was hailed as the most comprehensive, authoritative, and up-to-date book on French cooking and gastronomy ever written. As an author and teacher, Pellaprat did much to consolidate Le Cordon Bleu's position as the world's leading cookery school, and the tributes paid to his books echo the importance given to the school, which was setting standards and teaching classic French cuisine to an ever-growing number of graduates. Rosemary Hume, who later went on to found "Ecole du Petit Cordon Bleu" in London trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris under Henri-Paul in the 1920s.

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Information

Modern category
ref number: 11241

Pennell.   Elizabeth Robins     - A limited edition of 500 & a signed letter.
My Cookery Books
by Elizabeth Robins Pennell. The verso states 'This 1983 edition limited to 500 copies. this is number 54.'
174 x 248mm. Front and back paste-downs and endpapers, in bottle green paper. 1fep with a tipped in note hand-written by Pennell on the verso. Title page. 2p Forward by Mike McKirdy of ‘CooksBooks’. [1] 15p Index of Authors and Titles. [1] Facsimile of original Title page. [1] (1)vi-x Introduction. (1)xii Illustrations. Half Title. [1] My Cookery Books 2-171. [1]. Original quarter bound green cloth with marbled boards. Paper printed label on spine. The tipped in hand-written postcard by Pennell with her messy writing style reads – “I must send at least a good to say “Thank You” for I think it so good of you to remember the Oatcake sounds very good, but I am not sure if the ----- ------ will ---- to it. However, we shall see! E R Pennell 25.2.17. A scarce item in excellent condition.
- Elizabeth Robins Pennell, born February 21, 1855 was an American author. She was the wife of American artist, illustrator and fellow author, Joseph Pennell, whom she married in June 1884. He provided the illustrations for many of her books. They rebuked the staid Victorian sensibilities of their times. After an eyebrow-raising marriage in 1884, offending both his Quaker family and her Catholic family, they raised more eyebrows by tri-cycling through France, the Alps, and Italy. Elizabeth sat in the sidecar-like seat, Joseph perched on the high seat. Pennell would go on to author over twenty-five books, some of which are now in print again. She also wrote articles for The Atlantic Monthly and newspapers, including a food column—“The Wares of Autolycus”—for London’s The Pall Mall Gazette. Nothing in her background suggested that Elizabeth Pennell would become one of the world’s best-known cookbook collectors. She collected rare cookbooks for more than 27 years and wrote this intriguing bibliographical essay about them, which was first published in 1903. Her other famous Culinary work is the ‘The Feasts of Autolycus: the Diary of a Greedy Woman’ - first edition 1898. The Pennells frequented cafés in France and Italy, with their many artist friends. The European café culture, contributed enormously to her culinary education, preparing her for writing her food columns. Because she couldn’t wield a saucepan with ease when she started writing her food column, one of the Pennells’ friends, publisher William E. Henley, saved her by giving her a copy of Alexander Dumas’s Dictionnaire de la Cuisine. With the acquisition of Dumas’s book, Pennell marveled, “It was with something of a shock that I woke one morning and found myself a collector of cookery books.” And when she passed up a new dress for a rare first edition of “good old Hannah Glasse,” she knew she was a serious collector At one point, Pennell owned over 1,000 rare cookbooks. Her glee over the range of her collection comes out in this book where she writes – ‘If it be a mistake to collect, at least I have collected so well that I have yet to find the collection of cookery books that can equal mine. It may be put to shame when I consult M. Georges Vicaire’s Bibliographie Gastronomique (1890), with its twenty-five hundred entries, especially as M. Vicaire’s knowledge of the English books on the subjects is incomplete, and his ignorance of the American exhaustive, - and he has never heard of Miss Leslie, poor man’. Pennell also owned a copy, published in 1498, of De Re Culinaria, by the third century Roman gastronome who called himself Apicius. It is thought to have been the first cookbook in the Western world. The great collector is being re-found and appreciated due to the re-publishing of some of her work. She died in New York City in February of 1936. Below is a photograph portrait from the Victoria & Albert Museum of Elizabeth Robins Pennell, taken crica 1890, by Frederick Hollyer (1837-1933)

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Information

Modern category
ref number: 11094

Piedmontese.   Alessio [Girolamo Ruscello]     - A medieval classic.
The Secrets of Alexis:
CONTAINING MANY EXCELLENT REMEDIES AGAINST DIVERS DISEASES, wounds, and other Accidents. With the maner to make Distillations, Parfumes, Confritures, Dying, Colours, Fusions, and Meltings. A worke well approved, very necessarie for every man. Newly corrected and amended, and also somewhat more enlarged in certaine places, which wanted in the former Editions. Lonodn, Printed by William Stansby for Richard Meighen and Thomas Iones, and are to be sold at their shop with-out Temple-barre under S. Clements Church. 1615.
4to. 180x145mm. 3feps (with 2 19th-cent. ink inscriptions on recto, one being from J.Osbourn Francis) Title page. [1] 6pp The Epistle to Francis, Lord Russel, Earle of Bedford. 4pp To the Reader. Unusual pagination; recto with number, verso unnumbered -- (1) 2-348 (698 pages) Lacking 259-290 including title to the fourth part. 28pp The Table. 3feps. Some mild age browning throughout, with the title and last pages a little darker. Printed mainly in black letter. Some pencil markings in the margins, Five early English MS marginalia discussing recipes. Bound in 19th-cent. marled boards with the page edges marbled to match. Sympathetically rebacked in dark brown smooth calf with gilt lines and red morocco gilt label. Overall a very good copy of an early book.
- Alessio Piemontese, also known under his latinized name of Alexius Pedemontanus, was the pseudonym of Girolamo Ruscelli, a 16th century Italian physician, alchemist, humanist and cartographer, who was born in Viterbo around 1504 and died in Venice, 1566, and the author of this immensely popular book, 'The Secrets of Master Alexis of Piedmont'. This work is in five parts, parts 2-3 have separate dated title pages (and the fourth when present); the fifth part has a caption title; foliation and register are continuous. The title pages to the second, third and fourth parts bear the imprint "Printed at London by W. Stansby, anno Dom. 1614." The first three parts were first published separately in an English translation, beginning in 1559 and the four parts were first published together in English in 1595. Our edition contains an additional fifth part attributed in the title to "Mayster Alexis of Piemont" but not found in the original Italian editions nor the English edition of 1595 It continued to be published in more than a hundred editions and was still being reprinted in the 1790s. As well as English, the work was translated into Latin, German, Spanish, French, and Polish. It unleashed a torrent of 'books of secrets' that continued to be published down through the eighteenth century. Alessio was the prototypical professor of secrets. His description of his hunt for secrets in the preface to the 'Secreti' helped to give rise to a legend of the wandering empiric who dedicated his life to the search for natural and technological secrets. The book contributed to the emergence of the concept of science as a hunt for the secrets of nature, which pervaded experimental science during the period of the Scientific Revolution. In a later work, Ruscelli reported that the Secreti contained the experimental results of an ‘Academy of Secrets’ that he and a group of humanists and noblemen founded in Naples in the 1540s. Ruscelli’s academy is the first recorded example of an experimental scientific society. First published in Venice in 1555 as the famous title 'De secreti del Reverendo Donno Alessio Piedmontese' , it helped to shape Giambattista Della Porta's famous 'Magia Naturalis' of 1558 and Isabella Crtese's 'Secreti' of 1564. -- Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, pages 15-17; Krivatsy, 17th Century Books in the National Library of Medicine, page 21, No. 209; Wellcome Library, Volume I, page 9, No. 188.

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Information

Antiquarian category
ref number: 11085