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Scottish Cookery and Cosmetics from the Granddaughter of Charles II
ROBERTSON, Hannah. The Young ladies school of arts: containing a great variety of practical receipts. Edinburgh: Ruddiman, 1766.
8vo. in 4s. xxiv, 215, [1 blank] pp. Modern quarter-calf over marbled boards, raised bands, occasional light spotting $12,000.00
The extremely rare FIRST EDITION of this popular Scottish cookbook. In her “Preface to the Ladies,” Hannah Robertson notes that “The following Treatise being intirely calculated for this northern climate, I have accordingly mentioned Scots measure in the receipts: they are not intended to teach those in high life, who have much better cooks than I can pretend to be; but, from the experience I have had for many years, I presume, that some who may be married, and have not perhaps had the opportunity to observe the oeconomy of a family, may, from the directions given here, very soon be capable of dressing their victuals in a proper manner....
“The generality of Cookery-books are filled with impracticable receipts, and a number of ingredients mentioned that cannot be got in this country, at least, but at a very dear rate; and many expressions used that cannot be understood by our country-women.” This cookbook is Hannah Robertson’s attempt to remedy this problem.
Beginning on page 150 Robertson lists a series of recipes related to health and beauty. Directions include “to take away the redness...after the small-pox,” “how to beautify the skin,” “a water to take away pimples,” “red pomatum for the lips,” and “virgin milk.” Other recipes are provided as well for cleaning oil paintings, artificial color for grotto-work, and how to make flowers of isinglass.
A good copy of a very rare and important book.
¶ ESTC: British Library, National Library of Scotland, and the New York Academy of Medicine to which OCLC adds the Atlanta History Center and Colonial Willimsburg; Maclean 124 (“For a life of the author see her autobiography The Life of Mrs. Robertson....In it she claimed to be the granddaughter of Charles II”). Not in Bitting or Oxford (who knows of the second and fourth edition only; see pp. 96-97).


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