Dalgairns   Mrs     - The 2nd Edition.
The Practice of Cookery.
174 x 105 mm. fep. Title page. [1]. Preface (1)vi-viii. Preface to the second edition. [1]. Index (1)xii-xxix. [1] Half Title page. [1]. (1)2-524. Appendix (1)526-528. 1fep. 1455 recipes in total. Full dark tan contemporary binding. Original re-backed spine with black label and gilt lettering. Some ink writing on the title page and with a small hole not affecting the text. Overall a nice copy.
- Online there is a surprising amount of detailed information about Mrs Dalgairns and her book: "The Practice of Cookery Adapted to the Business of Every-day Life.". Most of the information can be found at three places: #1 - http://www.cooksinfo.com --- #2 - http://www.electricscotland.com -- #3 – The Papers of The Bibliographical Society of Canada, Vol 45, No 1 (2007) A Fortuitous Nineteenth-Century Success Story by Mary F. Williamson of York University, Toronto, Canada. Most of the relevant information online is reproduced here. Mrs Dalgairns had the ‘The Practice of Cookery’ published in 1829, and republished up until 1860. This copy is a 2nd edition, published in Edinburg in 1829, the same year as the 1st edition, also published there. Cagle has a 2nd, and proclaims it is not shown in any other bibliographies consulted. Interestingly Cagle's 2nd edition asks for 532 pages. This copy has 528 and appears to be complete. One can only assume the missing 4 pages are advertisements. Catherine Emily Callbeck Dalgairns was an upper-middle class amateur foodie. The goal of the book was to enable any cook or housekeeper of limited experience to know how to prepare well most dishes in fashion at the time. She hoped that, at the same time, it might "be no less useful to the mistress of a family, if required for occasional reference." She stated at the outset that she was not providing any new recipes, but trying to select the best amongst those "already established in public favour." She either tested them herself, or relied on the opinion of "persons whose accuracy in the various manipulations could be safely relied upon." She used an unusual and helpful method in her book. Instead of doing all her introductory remarks lumped together at the beginning of the book, she put relevant remarks at the start of each chapter. She provided both a chapter list at the front, and an index at the back. Catherine was born into a privileged family in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI), approximately in the late 1780s. She had three sisters, and two brothers. She was very much a child of the British Empire. Though born on Prince Edward Island, she had relatives in Ireland, England and in the American colonies. Her parents were Phillips (sic) Callbeck (1743 to 28 February 1790) and Anne Coffin (1752 to 15 October 1826.) Her father was Attorney-General and Surrogate-General of Probate of the Island of St John (aka Prince Edward Island), then president of His Majesty's Council for the same colony. He owned 20,000 acres of land there. During the American Revolution, he was taken prisoner during a sally by two American privateers into Charlottetown Harbour, taken south to the American colonies, and handed over to Colonel George Washington. Washington set him free with a letter of apology. On 11 September 1808, Catherine married Peter Dalgairns (born in Scotland on 29 October 1793. The couple left PEI sometime shortly afterward, living first in London, then moving to Dundee, Scotland around 1822. In 1829, she published her cookbook. The couple never returned to Prince Edward Island. They both died in Dundee, Scotland: Catherine on 1 March 1844 and Peter in 1853. Occasionally, you may see her referred to as perhaps the first "Canadian" cookbook author. Her Canadian association is tenuous, though, and mostly an accident of birth. It may be more accurate to term her, as does Mary F. Williamson, a 'British North American'. As far as the cook book is concerned, being printed in Edinburgh by an author residing in Dundee, the recipes are not exclusively Scottish. The recipes are highly varied, with many French culinary terms. There are recipes for Currie, Indian Pancakes, Caveach of Fish, Meat Kebabs, a rather basic Sauce Robert, a Boudin a la’ Richlieu. An interesting and fairly original Cookery book. Oxford p163 for a 1st edition. Bitting a 6th of 1836.

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