Pictures of some of the cook books discussed. Reproduced with the permission of Special Collections, Leeds University Library
You can learn about a lot more than recipes from studying cookery books through the ages as I heard from Dr Eileen White recently. She has been studying the books in the special collection of Cookery Books at Leeds University’s Brotherton Library for over 40 years. Their collection includes books from the late 15th century to the present. Some are reprints of old manuscripts such as “A noble Boke Off Cookery FFor a Prynce Houssolde or Any Other Estately Houssolde” to original editions such as that from 1664 “The Court & Kitchin of Elizabeth, Commonly called Joan Cromwel, The Wife of the Great Usurper, Truly Described and Represented, And now Made Publick for general Satisfaction”. Many books include recipes for medicines and foods and give an insight into the mores of the times as Dr White explains in this interview recorded in a rather noisy room.