Mason.   Charlotte    
The Ladys Assistant
For Regulating and Supplying her Table, Being a Complete System Of Cookery Containing One Hundred and Fifty select Bills of Fare, properly disposed for Family Dinners Of Five Dishes, to Courses Of Eleven and Fifteen; With Upwards Of Fifty Bills of Fare for Suppers, from Five Dishes to Nineteen; And Several Deserts: Including Likewise, The fullest and choicest Receipts of various Kinds, With Full Directions for preparing them in the most approved Manner, from which a continual Change may be made, as wanted, in the several Bills of Fare: Published from the Manuscript Collection of Mrs. Charlotte Mason, A professed Housekeeper, who had upwards of Thirty Years Experience in Families of the first fashion. The Third Edition. "The most refin'd understanding and the most exalted sentiments do not place a " woman above the little duties of life." Mrs. Griffith. London; Printed for J. Walter Homer's- Head, Charing- Cross. M.DCC.LXXVII
8vo. 2fep with manuscript signature of Catharine Driffield 1701. Title Page. [1] 2pp. Introduction to First Edition and Adverts to the second edition. [1]+1-123 Bills of fare. [1] 125-428. 429-436 List of seasonal foods. 21pp Index. 1pp Adverts. 2feps. Light tan original calf boards with nice patina. New tan spine with blind and gilt tooling, and gilt lines, and red and green labels with gilt lettering. Minor foxing on last few leaves of index and the end papers. Very clean internally.
- An excellent copy. 123 Bills of fare according to the rules of polite society are the main subject of The Lady’s Assistant: its first 124 pages contain text-only arrangements for between five and nineteen dishes as well as simple cold suppers. The subsequent wealth of recipes, including some relating to New England cooking, are interspersed with pithy information about the resources required by a good cook including an entire section on spices, their origins and uses, and condiments (pp. 290-92). The work closes with lists of seasonal fruit, vegetables and meat for all months of the year, and an extensive index. The Lady’s Assistant was first published in 1773. Little is known about the author, Mrs. Charlotte Mason, whose active period ended with the eighth, i.e. final contemporary edition of this book in ca. 1800: in the subtitle, Mason declares herself ‘a professed housekeeper, who had upwards of thirty years experience in families of the first fashion’, and references her manuscript collection as a source for the material published in this book. The text is preceded by the introduction to the first edition, the ‘Advertisement to the Second Edition’ – which notes that the text has been revised and enlarged, with ‘a full, select, and really useful collection of receipts and amendments, which makes The Lady’s Assistant [...] the most complete book of cookery hitherto extant’ – and the ‘Note to this Edition’, which states that, ‘the continued quick sale of the last corrected edition of this publication [...] ascertains the merits of the book’. ESTC N12254; Maclean, p. 95. Simon, BG 1013.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 10910