Woolley.   Hannah     - two incomplete copies, together making one whole.
The Gentlewomans Companion,
OR, A GUIDE TO THE Female Sex: CONTAINING Directions of Behaviour, in all Places, Companies, Relations and Conditions, form their Child-hood down to Old Age: VIZ. As, Children to Parents. Scholars to Governours. Single to Servants. Virgins to Suitors. Married to Husbands. Huswifes to the House. Mistress to Servants. Mothers to Children. Widows to the World. Prudent to all. With LETTERS & DISCOURSES upon all Occasions. Whereunto is added, A Guide fotr Cook-maids, Dairy-maids, chamber-maids, and all others that go to Service. The whole beingan exact Rule for the Female Sex in General. By HANNAH WOOLLEY. LONDON, Printed by A.Maxwell for Edward Thomas, at the Adam and Eve in Little-Brittan, 1675.
1ST BOOK: 16mo. 1 loose fep with manuscript signature. Title Page in red and black text with a double lined border. [1] 7p Epistle Directory. [1] 9p A Table. [1] 1-262. 5p Advertisements. [1] Only the back cardboard cover present but exposed. Original full dark calf binding, completely dis-bound. A 1" tear and crack on the spine. (Missing -- Frontispiece, I, I8, K8, L, R-R8. P159-160 has 2" tear on outer edge with some text loss. First 4p of the rear Advertisements). The text block is quite clean with minimal age browning and some minor tears without loss. A nice clean copy. 2ND BOOK: 16mo. 2fep. [1] Engraved Frontispiece cropped and laid down. Title page in red and black text, cropped to inside line of the 2 line border and laid down. [1] 5p Epistle Directory. [1] 9p A Table. [1] 1-262. 8p Advertisements. 2feps. (Missing - pA4 of Epistle Directory and the last page of the rear advertisements). Half dark calf with marbled boards with a sunned spine and gilt lettering. Text block age browned with the top of the pages cropped without loss. Both copies housed in a modern half mid-tan calf clam-shell box with mid-brown cloth boards. Lined with black felt cloth. The spine with raised bands and gilt lines. With two labels of red and green morocco with gilt lettering. Unusually Woolley's name spelled differently here from the 'Wolley' in her other book - 'The Queen-like Closet'.
- Woolley, (born 1623 - died circa 1675) was a writer who published early books on household management and was probably the first to earn their living doing this. Her mother and elder sisters were all skilled in ‘Physick and Chirurgery’ and she learned from them . Nothing is known of her father. From 1639 to 1646 Woolley worked as a servant for an unnamed woman, almost certainly Anne, Lady Maynard (died,1647), during which time she learned about medical remedies and recipes. She married Jerome Woolley, a schoolmaster, in 1646 and with him, ran a free grammar school at Newport, in Essex. This is very near the Maynard family's house at Little Easton. In the school she put into practice her skills at ‘physick’. A few years later, the Woolleys opened a school in Hackney, London. She had at least four sons and two daughters, and the marriage was remembered by Hannah as a happy one. Hannah was widowed in 1661 and from that year on began publishing books on household management. She covered such topics as: recipes, notes on domestic management, embroidery instruction, the etiquette of letter writing, medicinal advice, and perfume making. These proved to be very popular. Her first book The Ladies Directory was published at her own expense in 1661, and this was soon reprinted in 1664. Her second book The Cooks Guide, was printed at a her publisher's expense and is dedicated to Maynard's daughter, Lady Anne Wroth (1632–1677), and her own daughter Mary. Woolley earned a reputation as a successful physician, despite her amateur status and the unwelcoming environment for female medical practitioners at that time in history. She used her books as an advertisement for her skills and invited her readers to consult her in person. Woolley remarried in 1666 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, to Francis Challiner, a widower two years older than herself. But her second husband died before February 1669. Woolley's own date of death is unknown. Rather than try to make a made-up complete copy with the difference in cropped page sizes and varying paper colour, the two copies here have been kept as they are and housed together in a handsomely bound clamshell box. The first edition was published in 1673. Even though this is an unauthorized text based on Hannah's books, never the less it is still Woolley's work and extremely rare.

click on image to enlarge

Antiquarian category
ref number: 11130