Cook’s Oracle


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[003901] [Kitchiner, William] Apicius Redivivus; or, The Cook’s Oracle Etc. Etc. London: Samuel Bagster, 1817. First Edition. 16mo. Half Calf and Boards. Good. a-b12, [4] leaves of plates, B-Q12, R6 (complete but final two contents pages misbound at end, ie. should be a-b12, c2, B-Q12, R4). Half calf and boards, later rebacked, smooth back, spine in five panels divided by gilt double rules, leather title label to second panel

Slightly rubbed to extremities, corners worn, paper covering boards worn and slightly discoloured. Internally lightly browned, with some light foxing and spotting, occasional light soiling, single worm track to bottom margin of title and a2, further diminishing to minute holes around signature C, small piece missing from bottom corner of C11, tiny tear to fore edge margin of D10 and G10, ink stain to K9r and K10v, catching a few letters but no loss of sense

With two engraved plates, each with engraved letterpress explanation opposite

William Kitchiner (1778-1827), epicure and writer, whose “inheritance permitted him to enjoy, and to write extensively on, those three arts which most pleased him: music, gastronomy, and optics … The most famous of Kitchiner’s numerous cookery books, The Cook’s Oracle, first appeared in 1817 and went through many editions, even after his death. It was written in a down-to-earth style, and demonstrated Kitchiner’s familiarity with the entire process, from shopping, through preparing and serving the dishes, to cleaning up. It was an acknowledged source of inspiration for Mrs Beeton, and was mined by the writers of other household guides” (ODNB). The uncommon first edition, with one of the earliest recipes for crisps, ‘Potatoes fried in Slices’ (Recipe 104)

Bitting , page 262 (2nd edition); Cagle 797; Oxford, pages 145-146; Simon BG 914 (later editions); Wellcome III:399 (later editions)

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