The Art of Cookery - How to keep clear from bugs

Here Glasse discusses different ways to deal with bug-infested rooms. The ingredients for her repellents include brimstone, quicksilver, turpentine and egg whites. At the bottom of the page Glasse suggests that housemaids should sweep with sand, which will help to gather flew and dust.

About The Art of Cookery


The Art of Cookery, written by Hannah Glasse, was published in 1747. It was a best seller for over a hundred years, and made Glasse one of the best-known cookery writers of the eighteenth century.

As Glasse explains in the preface, the book was intended to be an instruction manual for servants - 'the lower sort' as she called them. During the 1700s there was a fashion for books of this kind, which were designed to save the lady of the house from the tedious duty of instructing her kitchen maids. As Hannah Glasse puts it, the book should 'improve the servants and save the ladies a great deal of trouble'. She is dismissive of the fanciful language used by other cookery book writers, which she feels simply confuses the servants: 'the poor girls are at a loss to know what they mean,' she writes. In contrast, her style is precise and direct.

Glasse was a housewife, rather than a professional cook, and according to her biographers her primary aim as a writer was to make money. She wrote the book quickly and methodically - in fact 342 of the 972 recipes are taken directly from other books. However, she does show a great deal of skill and originality. Firstly, her writing style is lively, intelligent and amusing. Also, the book contains one of the earliest references to Indian curry in an English cookbook. Asian food first became popular in Britain during the eighteenth century, reflecting the tastes developed by the employees of the East India Company.

Taken from: The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy
Author / Creator: Glasse, Hannah
Publisher: Printed for the author
Date: 1747
Copyright: By permission of the British Library
Shelfmark: 1485 pp18