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Family recipe book


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management, by Isabella Beeton, was first published in 1861. It contains over 2000 recipes and a complete guide to running a household. The Book of Household Management is considered to be emblematic of "Victorian blandness" and the "increasingly frenetic lifestyle of an expanding middle class." (British Library)

Alderman's pudding is a variation of Bakewell pudding from the south of England "made without the candied peel, and with a layer of apricot-jam only, six ounces of butter, six of sugar the yolks of six, and the whites of two eggs." (Acton)


Acton, Eliza. Modern Cookery for Private Families. 1845.

"Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management." British Library, Accessed 19 Sept. 2023.

This volume contains 200 culinary recipes written and complied approximately between 1849 and 1861 in England. The volume is bound in full leather and has an original marbled pastedown and endleaf. Family receipt book is stamped in gold letters on the front cover. The creator numbered pages for the first portion of the volume (p. 1-50) and the remaining pagination was supplied by the cataloger (p. 50-99).There are blank pages in the latter portion of the volume (p. 108-216).

The volume was primarily written by two hands, the first spans most of the first portion of the volume (p. 1-50), the second spans the second portion (p. 50-99), and then the final portion of the volume both the first and second hand and possibly others interspersed (p. 100-107). There is an index (p. i-xxii) that is primarily written by the first hand. Neither contributor is identified.

Some of the recipes are attributed to various individuals, including Miss Adamson (p. 49), Miss Baline [?] (p. 60), and Ms. H [?] (p. 61). Several locations in England are referenced, including Wiltshire (p. 45), Brighton (p. 96), and Yorkshire (p. 75). A watermark in the paper dates this volume to 1849 (p. 145).

Examples of recipes include mock turtle soup (p. 1), to pickle lemons (p. 13), to make mustard (p. 26), Alderman's pudding (p. 30), to cure ham – Wiltshire (p. 45), Hollow biscuits (p. 53), fish pudding (p. 69), Brighton biscuits (p. 96), and Mrs. Beeton's ginger beer (p. 104).

Sold by Alastor Rare Books, Ltd. (Lymington, England), 2020.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kelin Baldridge Smallwood
Finding Aid Date
2023 September 19
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

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Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Family recipe book, circa 1849-1861.
Volume 1

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