The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy: Which Far Exceeds any Thing of the Kind Yet Published

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by Hannah Glasse

The Art of Cookery

Title page from The Art of Cookery, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Hannah Glasse
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London: Printed for A. Millar, J. and R. Tonson, W. Strahan, P. Davey and B. Law
Date 1760
Edition Seventh
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages vi, 384
Desc. 8vo (21 cm.)
Location Shelf N-4
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Hannah Glasse (1708-1770) was born the illegitmate daughter of Isaac Allgood, a landowner in Northumberland, England.[1] Allgood raised Glasse with the rest of his family, giving her a chance to enjoy the lavish lifestyle and food of country landowners.[2] Hannah married soldier John Glasse when she was 16, and the Glasses served in an earl's household in Essex for several years before moving to London.[3]

Recipe for "apple frazes," page 159.

Her husband was a free spender and Hannah began work on The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy in 1746 to help her finances.[4] To distinguish her cookbook from previous publications, her recipes contained easy-to-read-and-follow instructions, and methods to weigh and measure ingredients that did not require readers to purchase expensive equipment.[5] Her recipes could be created in a basic middle-class kitchen; most other cookbooks available at the time were written for professional chefs and contained elaborate dishes designed for a mansion's or restaurant's cooking facilities.[6]

The Art of Cookery's first edition was published in 1747.[7] It was a great success, going through 20 editions in the 18th century and published continuously through 1843.[8] Glasse's book was highly influential throughout its published life, and some modern British food writers call Glasse "the first domestic goddess"[9] and "the mother of the modern dinner party".[10]

The Art of Cookery brought Glasse financial security for a while, but it would not last. On May 27, 1754, she was declared bankrupt, and on October 29 of that year, Glasse had to sell her copyright in the book to bookseller Andrew Miller and his partners.[11] Glasse was discharged from bankruptcy on January 11, 1755[12], but she fell into further financial trouble and on June 22, 1757, she was sent to debtor's prison, then released later that year.[13] Glasse wrote two subsequent books, The Servants Directory in 1757 and The Compleat Confectioner in 1760, but neither work was as successful as her first.[14] Hannah Glasse died September 1, 1770, at age 62.[15]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Headpiece, first page of text.

According to the J. Royle Daybook, George Wythe purchased "Glasses' Cookery" in March of 1764, from the Williamsburg Printing Office.[16] Both Goodwin's pamphlet[17]and Brown's Bibliography[18] list the seventh edition of Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery published in London in 1760. George Wythe's Library[19] on LibraryThing also includes Glasse's work but indicates "Precise edition unknown." The Wolf Law Library followed the recommendations of Goodwin and Brown and purchased the 1760 edition of The Art of Cookery.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in later half calf with calf corners and marbled boards. Purchased from Charles Agvent.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

See also


  1. Laura Boyle, "Hannah Glasse", Jane, last modified October 13, 2011. [1]
  2. Rose Prince, "Hannah Glasse: The original domestic goddess", The Independent (UK), June 24, 2006, accessed July 10, 2013. [2]
  3. Boyle, "Hannah Glasse."
  4. Prince, "Hannah Glasse: The Original Domestic Goddess."
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Boyle, "Hannah Glasse."
  8. Boyle, "Hannah Glasse."
  9. "Hannah Glasse: The First Domestic Goddess", BBC Four, accessed July 10, 2013.
  10. Boyle, "Hannah Glasse."
  11. A. H. T. Robb-Smith, "Glasse , Hannah (bap. 1708, d. 1770)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed June 27, 2013.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Boyle, "Hannah Glasse."
  14. Ibid.
  15. Ibid.
  16. J. Royle Ms Daybook, Williamsburg Printing Office, 1764.
  17. Mary R. M. Goodwin, The George Wythe House: Its Furniture and Furnishings (Williamsburg, Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library, 1958), LII.
  18. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  19. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on March 5, 2014.

External links