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The Art of Cookery

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The Art of Cookery is the only books of its kind to have come out of an English religious community. It is also that very rare thing, a cookery book of the English 18th-century that has the author's own recipes throughout; nothing seems to have been plagiarized or borrowed from other writers.

The Dean of Durham Cathedral, who employed the author, had a lavish grant for entertaining and his generous hospitality meant that his cook had to cater for all levels of society, from canons of the Cathedral with sophisticated tastes such as the gourmand Dr. Jacque Sterne, to tradesmen, poor widows, and those of even more modest status. Thacker's book keeps many pre-Reformation recipes and thus shows the gradual transition in the Cathedral's eating habits.

Published: Dec 1, 2004