MacDonald   Duncan     - The 1st edition - 2nd issue.
The New London Family Cook:
OR, TOWN AND COUNTRY HOUSEKEEPER’s GUIDE. COMPREHENDING DIRECTIONS FOR MARKETING. With illustrative Plates, on a principle entirely new; General Observations, and Bills of Fare for every Week in the Year; Practical Instructions for preparing SOUPS, BROTHS, GRAVIES, SAUCES, AND MADE DISHES; AND FOR DRESSING FISH, VENISON, HARES, BUTCHERS’ MEAT, POULTRY, GAME, &C. IN ALL THEIR VARIETIES. With the respective Branches of PASTRY AND CONFECTIONARY, THE ART OF POTTING, PICKLING, PRESERVING, &C. COOKERY FOR THE SICK, AND FOR THE POOR; Directions for Carving; And a Glossary of the most generally received French and English Terms in the Culinary Art. ALSO A COLLECTION OF VALUABLE FAMILY RECIPES, IN DYEING, PERFUMERY, &C. INSTRUCTIONS FOR BREWING, MAKING OF BRITISH WINES, DISTILLING, MANAGING THE DAIRY, AND GARDENING. AND AN APPENDIX, Containing General Directions for Servants relative to the Cleaning of Household Furniture, Floor-Cloths, Stoves, Marble Chimney-pieces, &c. Forming in the whole a most complete FAMILY INSTRUCTOR. [a small line] BY DUNCAN MACDONALD, LATE HEAD COOK AT THE BEDFORD TAVERN AND HOTEL, COVENT GARDEN, AND ASSITANTS. [two very fine double lines] London: PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J.ROBINS AND CO. IVY LANE, PATERNOSTER ROW.
FIRST EDITION 2nd issue. Circa 1800. 12 mo. 1 fep. [1] Frontispiece of Macdonald’s portrait, ‘Published by J.Robins & Albion Press London’. Title page. [1] Preface 2 pages. (1)6 – 600. In-text 10 pages Plates of Carving and Butchery, Table settings and Bills of Fare, nine of the plates without an imprint, except one “Desserts” which is imprinted with ‘Engraved for Macdonald’s New London Cook’. 609-619 Tables of Marketing. 620-621 Conclusion. 622-630 Index. 2 pages Advertisements. 1fep. Frontispiece and the last for pages lightly damp browned. The text block is quite clean. With a modern binding of marbled boards with a quarter brown calf, raised bands, blind tooling with gilt text. Overall a good copy.
- The unusual information on the title page that informs us that the author is Duncan Macdonald the late Head Cook….. and also his assistants. What could this mean.? That Macdonald is dead and the book is written by, or collated by his assistants. Or does it mean Macdonald no longer works there and his ex-assistants took a part in the writing of the book after he had gone. Or did Macdonald write the book with the help of assistants. If this last is the case, and they were important enough to be included in the title page, then why not name them.? The mentioning of the “two servants” might be explained by the inclusion of the two page “Conclusion” on page 620 where it states that “The Proprietors of Macdonald’s New London Family Cook, cannot suffer the Volume to be closed, without remarking, that the promises, which they held forth in their promises for Publishing it, have been realised in their fullest extent”. It further states that “In addition to Mr Macdonald’s instructions for Cookery, in all its branches; for Marketing, and Carving: for Pastry, Confectionary, Potting, Pickling, and Preserving; they pledged themselves to furnish”….. etc etc etc. So, there we have it! All the other title page branches being added by the Proprietors. Using MacDonald’s name and his key chapters of Cookery etc, the Proprietors have put together a very comprehensive and interesting book. The effort has been thorough and sincere as can be seen by the inclusion of the well designed the frontispiece portrait of Macdonald. Quite how much of the material is original and how much is plagiarized would take some research. On page 197, there is a recipe for ‘The West-Indian Method of Dressing a Turtle’. When checked against an original handwritten publisher’s manuscript with the recipe "To dress a Turtle in the West India Way" inside a copy of the 4th edition of 1751 of Hannah Glasse’s famous work; “The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy”, see item # 10968 on page 16 of this website, the Macdonald recipe is identical in composition with every sentence cleverly re-arranged using the same words. In a recent conversation with Uta Schumacher Voelker she confirmed that the 1st Edition – 1st issue has the sentence in the title “An Alphabetical List of the most respectable Manufacturers and Dealers in the various Articles connected with Domestic Economy”. This copy does not have it, pointing towards a 2nd issue. MacLean informs of a second edition printed by John Cundee with the Preface dated 1808. Cagle cites only one J.Robin’s edition in the Library of Congress, but we are not told if it’s a 1st or 2nd issue. Oxford has this edition and states that it seems to be very complete.

click on image to enlarge

Antiquarian category
ref number: 11246