Recipe books are a key part of food history; they register the ideals and practices of domestic work, physical health and sustenance and they are at the heart of material culture as it was experienced by early modern Englishwomen. In a world in which daily sustenance and physical health were primarily women's responsibilities, women were central to these texts that record what was both a traditional art and new science. The texts reprinted in these two volumes allow readers to reconstruct the history of recipes, both medical and culinary, from the mid-sixteenth to mid-seventeenth century, and situate that history within the larger scientific and intellectual practices of the period.
Contents: Preface by the General Editors; Introductory note; Elizabeth Talbot Grey, Countess of Kent (probable author): A choice manual of rare and select secrets in physick and chyrurgery: collected and practised by the Right Honourable the Countesse of Kent, late deceased (1653). Aletheia Talbot, Countess of Arundel (probable author): Natura Extenterata, or Nature Unbowelled by the most exquisite anatomizers of her. Wherein are contained, her choicest secrets digested into receipts, fitted for the cure of all sorts of infirmities, whether internal or external, acute or chronical, that are incident to the body of man (1655).