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The Lady's Assistant for Regulating and Supplying the Table

ID: 1665 - Edit In OJS

The Lady’s Assistant by Charlotte Mason is an important but much neglected eighteenth century cookery book. Unusually the table settings show layouts for more ordinary households as well as affluent ones, and the recipes follow this pattern. In an introduction the food historian Ivan Day discusses Charlotte Mason’s innovative dishes in this most interesting work.

In the first edition of 1773 the book’s author was described as ‘a professed housekeeper, who had upwards of thirty years experience of families of the first fashion.’ She was eventually identified in the second edition of 1775 as a Mrs Charlotte Mason. Unfortunately the families who employed this lady were not named and there are no other useful clues in the book concerning the details of her career, nor in any of the subsequent editions. Mrs Mason remains a mysterious and elusive figure.

Published: Aug 19, 2014

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