Closet for Ladies and Gentlewomen
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Historical rabbit holes, for those who are inclined.
These slender booklets from Historical Management Associates are the work of an organization dedicated to historical re-enactment in the UK. They are written with a stickler’s attention to historical precision and a conviction that nothing is too arcane to investigate. Some of the books are simple transcriptions of period manuscripts; others represent significant original research, as in Cattle Farming and Grazing Management, which is 52 pages long but cites 36 sources, many of them published in the 17th century.
Subtitled “Of, the Art of Preserving , Conserving, and Candying. With the manner how to make divers kinds of Sirups, and all kinde of Banqueting stuffes. Also divers soveraigne Medicines and Salves for sundry Diseases.” This is a work of many promises: “To candy Rose leaves, as naturally as if they grew upon the trees.” “To make a Walnut, that when you crack it, you shall find Biskets and Carrowaies inside, or a pretty Posie written.” “To make an excellent Marmelade, which was given to Queene Mary for a New-yeares gift.”
The original edition of this book appeared in 1608 and other editions were published until 1656. Johanna H. Holloway asserts that Closet is a key source for the manuscript that would become Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery.
A staplebound pamphlet. 74 pages.