a new system of domestic cookery


  • [16] Alan Davidson, in the Oxford Companion to Food writes that “It did not include many novel features, although it did have one of the first English recipes for tomato sauce.

  • Where those books consist almost wholly of recipes, Mrs Rundell begins by explaining techniques of economy (“A minute account of the annual income and the times of payment
    should be kept in writing”[5]), how to carve, how to stew, how to season, to “Look clean, be careful and nice in work, so that those who have to eat might look on”,[6] how to choose and use steam-kettles and the bain-marie, the meanings of
    foreign terms like pot-au-feu (“truly the foundation of all good cookery”[7]), all the joints of meat, the “basis of all well-made soups”,[8] so it is page 65 before actual recipes begin.

  • A New System of Domestic Cookery, first published in 1806 by Maria Rundell (1745 – 16 December 1828), was the most popular English cookbook of the first half of the nineteenth
    century; it is often referred to simply as “Mrs Rundell”, but its full title is A New System of Domestic Cookery: Formed Upon Principles of Economy; and Adapted to the Use of Private Families.

  • “[13] By 1841 the Quarterly Literary Advertiser was able to give as the “Opinions of the Press”, on the 64th edition, paragraphs of favourable reviews from the Worcestershire
    Guardian (“the standard work of reference in every private family in English society”), the Hull Advertiser (“most valuable advice upon all household matters”), the Derby Reporter (“a complete guide … suited to the present advanced state
    of the art”), Keane’s Bath Journal (“it leaves no room to any rival”), the Durham Advertiser (“No housekeeper ought to be without this book”), the Brighton Gazette (“if further proof be wanting, it may be found in the fact that Mrs. Rundell
    received from her publisher, Mr. Murray, no less a sum than Two Thousand Guineas for her labour!!

  • “), the Aylesbury News (“the peculiarity of the present work is its scientific preface, and an attention to economy as well as taste in giving its directions”), the Bristol
    Mirror (“far surpasses all its predecessors, and continues to be the best treatise extant concerning the art”), the Midland Counties Herald (“ought to be in the hands of every lady who does not consider it vulgar to look after the affairs
    of her own household”), the Inverness Herald (“enriched with the latest improvements in gastronomic science”) and The Scotsman,[14] which said The sixty-fourth edition!

  • [9] Basic skills like making pastry are explained separately, and then not mentioned in recipes.

  • Mrs Rundell has been called “the original domestic goddess”[a] and her book “a publishing sensation” and “the most famous cookery book of its time”.

  • Dinner courses and articles in season throughout the year Approach[edit] In contrast to the relative disorder of English eighteenth century cookery books such as Eliza Smith’s
    The Compleat Housewife (1727) or Elizabeth Raffald’s The Experienced English Housekeeper (1769), Mrs Rundell’s text is strictly ordered and neatly subdivided.

  • [15] Modern[edit] Severin Carrell, writing in The Guardian, calls Mrs Rundell “the original domestic goddess” and her book “a publishing sensation” of the early nineteenth
    century, as it sold “half a million copies and conquered America”, as well as helping to found the John Murray publishing empire.

  • … Of the additions made by her successor [Emma Roberts], … she appears to have brought a large amount of experience in the art of cookery to the task, and her name alone
    is a sufficient guarantee for the utility and excellence of her new receipts.

  • The compiler, Mrs. Rundell, had spent the early part of her life in India, and the last edition of the work is enriched with many receipts of Indian cookery.

  • The Monthly Review wrote in 1827 that A New System of Domestic Cookery is almost too well known to require notice [i.e.

  • For example, “Gravy to make Mutton eat like Venison” runs:[9] Pick a very stale woodcock, or snipe, cut it to pieces (but first take out the bag from the entrails), and simmer
    with as much unseasoned meat gravy as you will want.

  • Recipe “Gravy to make Mutton eat like Venison” The recipes are written as direct instructions.

  • Book The first edition of 1806 was a short collection of Mrs Rundell’s recipes published by John Murray.

  • Grice points out that “at 61, she was too old to act the pouting goddess” to sell her book, but “sell it did, in vast numbers, as a lifeline to cash-strapped middle-class
    English households that were desperate to keep up appearances but were having trouble with the staff.

  • [3] Sales of A New System of Domestic Cookery helped to found the John Murray publishing empire.

  • “[16] She says that compared to Eliza Acton “who could write better” (as in her 1845 book, Modern Cookery for Private Families), and the “ubiquitous” Mrs Beeton, Mrs Rundell
    “has unfairly slipped from view”.

  • Put some butter at the bottom of the dish, and over the shrimps, with a glass of sharp white wine.

  • [10] A recipe for “Shrimp Pie, excellent” then proceeds with the bare minimum indication of quantities and a passing mention of “the paste”:[11] Pick a quart of shrimps; if
    they are very salt, season them with only mace and a clove or two.

  • For instance:[12] Fowls.—If a cock is young, his spurs will be short; but take care to see they have not been cut or pared, which is a trick often practised.

  • Foreign terms used in cooking 6.


Works Cited

[‘A reference to Nigella Lawson.
o Carrell, Severin (26 June 2007). “Archive reveals Britain’s first domestic goddess”. The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
o ^ “Rundell, Maria Eliza Ketelby”. Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project
(Michigan State University Libraries). Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
o ^ Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell (1855). Woman’s Record, Or, Sketches of All Distinguished Women: From the Creation to A.D. 1854 : Arranged
in Four Eras : with Selections from Female Writers of Every Age. Harper & Bros. p. 885.
o ^ Lee, Elizabeth (1897). “Rundell, Maria Eliza (DNB00)” . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 49. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
o ^
Rundell, 1865. Page 4
o ^ Rundell, 1865. Page 35
o ^ Rundell, 1865. Page 47
o ^ Rundell, 1865. Page 64
o ^ Jump up to:a b Rundell, 1865. Page 111
o ^ Rundell, 1865. Pages 154–155
o ^ Jump up to:a b Rundell, 1865. Page 129
o ^ Jump up
to:a b Rundell, 1865. Page 79
o ^ Jump up to:a b The Monthly Review. Hurst, Robinson. 1827. p. 47.
o ^ Jump up to:a b The Quarterly Review (London). John Murray. 1841. pp. 62–63. which in turn cites the Worcestershire Guardian, the Hull Advertiser,
the Derby Reporter, Keane’s Bath Journal, the Durham Advertiser, the Brighton Gazette, the Aylesbury News, the Bristol Mirror, the Midland Counties Herald, the Inverness Herald and The Scotsman.
o ^ The Foreign Quarterly Review, Volume 33. Treuttel
and Würtz, Treuttel, Jun, and Richter. 1844. p. 205.
o ^ Jump up to:a b c Grice, Elizabeth (27 June 2007). “How Mrs Rundell whipped up a storm”. The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
o ^ Davidson, Alan (2006). “English cookery books”. In Tom
Jaine, Jane Davidson and Helen Saberi (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Section: “English cookery books of the 19th and 20th centuries”, p. 278–279. ISBN 0-19-280681-5.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/koadmunkee/3909587261/’]