Cookery for the poor


  • Intro

    This recipe book was intended to provide the working classes with advice on cookery and economising. The book is full of practical advice, based on the assumption that many of its readers could not afford expensive ingredients. Here readers are encouraged to re-use old coffee grounds. The author, Alexis Soyer, could perhaps best be described as the Jamie Oliver of his day, in the way that he seamlessly combined celebrity, self-promotion and philanthropy.


    Soyer made his name cooking for wealthy diners at the Reform Club - one of London's most prestigious Gentlemen's clubs. But he was equally concerned to improve the standard of cooking among the poor. He worked on Irish famine relief, creating the first properly designed soup kitchen. And he worked with Florence Nightingale in the Crimea, improving the diet of wounded soldiers. He also had his own range of sauces, cookbooks and kitchen equipment.


    Soyer's Shilling Cookery for the People, 1855.

    Shelfmark: 7954.a.20.

Find out more about the Cookery for the poor Here

Explore more timeline content: