The Queen's Royal Cookery - Preface

In the preface to the Queen's Royal cookery, the author distinguishes the book from others of its kind, emphasising its lack of 'superfluous trifles' and 'old and antiquated receipts.' He claims to present the latest culinary fashions in a way that is 'wholly new and useful.' In fact, forty of T. Hall's recipes had been poached from Sir Kenelme Digby's manuscripts which were published in 1669. Consequently Hall's dishes were actually thoroughly old-fashioned.

About The Queen's Royal Cookery


The Queen's Royal Cookery, by T. Hall, was first published in 1709. As well as a wide variety of basic culinary recipes, the book contains instructions for preserves, candies, cosmetics and 'beautifying waters.' It is one of a number of books claiming to reveal the secrets of the royal kitchens, a highly fashionable subject during the 17th and 18th centuries. Queen Anne, who reigned from 1702-1714, was a rich source of gossip, and the public seemed to have an endless fascination for any information gleaned from beyond the palace walls.

The production of art and literature prospered during the reign of Queen Anne. Throughout this period booksellers churned out popular recipe books, fully aware of the commercial viability of recipes linked to prestigious chefs. Unfortunately many of the books were thrown together by money-making charlatans who had simply filched their material from existing publications. Forty of T. Hall's recipes were taken directly from The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelm Digby (1669).


Taken from: The Queen's Royal Cookery
Author / Creator: Hall, T.
Publisher: Bates, S.
Date: 1729
Copyright: By permission of the British Library
Shelfmark: C.155.aa.7