Author: Lisa Smith

Recipes in Manuscript Miscellanies

By Eve Houghton As several scholars have noted, early modern recipes do not only appear in recipe books. Ink recipes in particular are a staple of the commonplace book, as Adam Smyth has pointed out; and as Alun Withey has written on this blog, “[i]t was not uncommon to put…

Scenes from an Anglo-Norman Kitchen, Part 1: Mutton, Parsley, and Pagan Gods

By Winston Black In this two-part post, I will explore several aspects of recipes, cooks, and kitchens as they appear in a twelfth-century herbal. This work gives us rare and valuable evidence for cooking in Anglo-Norman England. Devotees of medieval cooking have a variety of surviving cookbooks to use. Among…

Constance Hall’s ‘Carrott Pudding:’ A Rendition

The following post is by an undergraduate student, Jessie Foreman, who worked with me on a research placement this summer, as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programme at the University of Essex. She spent part of her time transcribing early modern recipe books for the Early Modern Recipes Online…

Tales from the Archives: The Lighter Side of Magic

In September, The Recipes Project celebrated its fourth birthday. We now have over 470 posts in our archives and over 117 pages for readers to sift through. That’s a lot of material! (And thank you so much to our contributors for sharing such a wealth of knowledge on recipes.) But…

Keeping up Appearances: Economy vs. Extravagance in Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery

By Sophie Hill, with Rachel Rich In their final year of study undergraduate at British universities produce a 10,000-word piece of original, primary source research, called the dissertation. It has been a great pleasure for me this year to supervise Sophie Hill’s dissertation. Sophie spent her year trawling through old…

Dr. Sloane’s Advice in the Recipe Manuscripts of Henrietta Harley

By Lucy-Anne Judd As part of my research exploring regional examples of receipt book manuscripts, I was intrigued and excited to discover here in Nottinghamshire further evidence of individuals recording the advice of Dr. Hans Sloane in local manuscripts such as those of Henrietta Harley (1694-1755), Countess of Oxford and…

Describing Seething Meat in the New World

By Cynthia D. Bertelsen Building on my last post on picturing New World foods in Thomas Hariot’s A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia, I now turn to the textual descriptions of those foods. After listing a number of food items and comparing them to…

Human Milk as Medicine in Imperial China: Practice or Fantasy?

By He Bian What does milk have in common with blood? According to Kou Zongshi (fl. 1110-1117), author of Bencao yanyi (Extended Interpretations on Materia Medica), they are basically the same vital fluid produced by the female body at two critical moments in a woman’s life. While the first menstrual…

Controlled substances in Roman law and pharmacy?

By Molly Jones-Lewis Let me begin with a passage from the Digest of Roman Law within the section on the Lex Cornelia on murderers and poisoners (D.48.8.3.3): It is laid down by another decree of the senate that dealers in cosmetics[1] are liable to the penalty of this law (the…

On Close Reading and Teamwork

Say the word ‘crowdsourcing’ and people automatically think of large-scale projects. Talk about ‘digital humanities’ and we think mining large sources of data. The online world is a vast and busy place. It’s not surprising that the media–and adherents of the ‘slow reading’ movement–regularly fret that the internet is destroying…

Making ‘powder for hourglasses’ in the early modern household

By Stephanie Pope There are numerous fascinating recipes in BnF Ms. Fr. 640, the sixteenth-century French metallurgist’s manual which forms the basis of Pamela Smith’s Making and Knowing Project–but, for me, the most fascinating of all is the one to make ‘powder for hourglasses’: It must be made very fine…

A Recipe for Recipe Research: The Making and Knowing Project

By Pamela Smith The Aim The Making and Knowing Project is a five-year initiative to create an open-access critical digital edition and English translation of an intriguing late sixteenth-century French manuscript, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Ms. Fr. 640. This anonymous manuscript is the written result of recipe collecting and workshop…

“For English Girls … in the Eastern Empire”: Housekeeping in British India

By Cynthia D. Bertelsen An Indian household can no more be governed peacefully, without dignity and prestige, than an Indian Empire. ~ Steel and Gardiner The British Empire at its zenith stretched across more than fourteen million square miles, ruling nearly half a billion people. Social and racial attitudes forged…

All in the mind? Competing models of hysteria in John Ward’s Diaries

By Alanna Skuse In my previous post, I introduced the diaries of Reverend John Ward, the seventeenth-century vicar of Stratford-on-Avon and sometime medical practitioner. Among Ward’s vast collection of notes on medical and scientific topics were many on sexual behaviour and biology. In this post, I will show how Ward…

Transcription Communities: Experiencing a Transcribathon in a Class Setting

By Nancy Simpson-Younger As part of my Book in Society class, thirteen students took part in the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective’s Transcribathon on Wednesday, October 7th, For this group, transcribing Winche’s work was the culmination of a two-week unit on paleography, which covered italic and secretary hands as well…

A Remedy for Witchcraft and Demonic Possession in Seventeenth-Century Ireland

By Andrew Sneddon There were only a handful of witch trials in early modern Ireland, and only one witch-lynching, of an old woman by her neighbours in Antrim town, Co. Antrim in 1698. The ‘witch’ was accused of using witchcraft to demonically possess a young girl of Presbyterian gentry stock.…