Shirley.   John     - Very rare.
The Accomplished Ladies Rich Closet OF RARITIES.
OR, THE Ingenoius Gentlewoman and Servant-Maids Delightful Companion. Containing many Excellent Things for the ACCOMPLISHMENT of the FEMALE SEX, after the exactest Manner and Method, viz. (1) The Art of Distilling. (2) Making Artificial Wines. (3) Making Syrups. (4) Conserving, Preserving, etc. (5) Candying and Drying Fruits, etc. (6) Confectioning. (7) Carving. (8) To make Beautifying waters, Oyls, Pomatums, Musk-balls, Perfumes, etc. (9) Physical and Chyrurgical Receipts. (10) The Duty of a Wet Nurse; and to know and cure Diseases in Chirldren, etc. (11) The Compleat Chamber-Maids Instructions in Pickling, making Spoon-meats, Washing, Starching, taking out Spots and Stains, Scowring Gold or Silver-Lace, Point, etc. (12) The Experienced Cook-Maid, or Instructions for Dressing, Garnishing, Making Sawces, serving up; together, with the Art of Pastry. (13) Bills of Fare. (14) The Accomplished Dairy-Maids Directions, etc. (15) The Judicious Midwives Directions, how Women in Travail before and after Delivery ouht to be used; as also the Child; and what relates to the Preservation of them both. To which is added a Second Part, Containing Directions for the guidance of a Young Gentlewoman as to her Behaviour and seemly Deportment, etc. Together with a New Accession of many Curious Things and Matters, profitable to the Female Sex, not published in the former Editions. The Fifth Edition, with Large Additions, Corrected and Amended. LONDON, Printed by W. Wilde, for St. Bodington in Duck Lane; and J. Blare on London Bridge. 1699.
12mo. 1fep. [1] Frontispiece representing a Lady with seven different domestic scenes. Title page with rubbed edges but no loss. [1] A2-A3 Preface signed by John Shirley. 7-168 with 2pages of Pye shapes. 169-192 Second Part. 1fep. Internally lightly age browned throughout. The corners of the text block rounded and sometime cropped close with no loss. It looks like the original full dark brown calf binding has been relaid with the board corners rounded and rubbed. Blind tolling on the boards and spine. With a nice patina.
- This book is crammed. From the busy frontis to the very full title page and the packed text block one gets a feeling this is not so much a cookery book but a novel to be fully read and understood. Daunting.! It would have been better to have had it published in a larger format. How the housewife of that era used this book in a practical way, one wonders. The text is laid out very pragmatically without a thought for style. Oxford states that much of the second part seems to be adapted from Mrs Woolley's 'Gentlewomans Companion'. I'm unable to find a record of the first edition. Oxford cites a second of 1687. The BL also has a fourth edition with large additions of 1696 and a fifth edition with large additions also dated 1696. This copy on view here is also a fifth but dated three years later in 1699. No entries in Pollard & Redgrave STC, Cagle nor Bitting. An extremely rare book in any edition.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 10967