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The Jewish Manual: or, Practical Information in Jewish and Modern Cookery, With a Collection of Valuable Recipes & Hints Relating to the Toilette. Edited by a Lady. Including information on the Complexion, the Hair, the Teeth, Hands and Nails, Dress, Diet and the Influence of the Mind as Regards to Beauty.
London: T. & W. Boone, 1846 - Octavo. Original purple diapered cloth, title gilt to the front board, blind panels to both boards, pale cream surface-paper endpapers, edges speckled red. Housed in a burgundy quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. A little rubbed overall, corners bumped, spine sunned and worn head and tail with the cloth chipped away showing a secondary lining layer, pale browning overall, a few light stains, internal binding professionally restored at gathering K; a very good copy. First edition of the first kosher cookbook in the English language, produced anonymously by Judith Montefiore, the "First Lady of Anglo-Jewry", which proves that one can be "genteel without being Gentile". The balance between an English and Jewish identity was an overriding concern of Jewish families in the middle class at this time, including the Montefiores; both Judith and her husband Moses "were concerned that the Reform movement would lead to unacceptable compromises in terms of Jewish life and ritual" (Judith W. Page, Jerusalem and Jewish Memory: Judith Montefiore's "Private Journal", p. 138) and worked publicly against such compromises. This cookbook is a key part of that work, created to demonstrate the ease with which one could keep Kosher whilst following the latest fashions. The manual not only contains traditionally Jewish recipes, such as for Kugel and pickling gherkins, but also popular English and French meals adapted for a Kosher household; it was designed to appeal to those outside the Jewish faith as well as those within the faith. In this work a sense of frustration can be felt with other cookbooks currently available, with the preface noting that"prohibited articles and combinations [are] assumed to be necessary ingredients of nearly every dish". Montefiore goes on to disprove this assumption, providing a number of simple substitutions for such prohibited items, such as the use of olive oil in place of dripping or lard, and almond-cream to replace dairy in puddings. Cookbooks such as these mirror society's customs as well as demonstrate the compatibility of Jewish ritual with non-Jewish societal norms. Indeed in this expansive work Montefiore was concerned not simply with the methods of cooking employed, but also in ensuring the central role of food within the household, and the continued education of young Jewish women to maintain this role. Daniel E. Feinberg and Alice Crosetto note that "while in traditional Judaism men are dominant figures in synagogues, women, stereotypically, dominate kitchens" and "compile cookbooks to pass down the 'gift of vital practical knowledge'. Often passing down a cookbook to a daughter signified the change of a young woman into adulthood" (Daniel E. Feinberg, Alice Crosetto, Cookbooks: Preserving Jewish Tradition, pp. 153–154). Montefiore notes in the preface that this manual is "addressed exclusively to the ladies", and that "the various acquirements, which in the present day are deemed essential to female education, rarely leave much time or inclination for the humble study of household affairs". Montefiore aims to address this perceived modern lack of practical female knowledge, compiling this manual to ensure continual access to information which was traditionally "bequeathed only by memory or manuscript". However Montefiore is not suggesting women should neglect other activities, noting "the compatibility of uniting the cultivation of talents with domestic pursuits", a point that is reinforced in the final chapter of the volume on the influence of the mind with regards to beauty. Montefiore notes for example that "drawing is highly calculated to enhance feminine beauty". She also demonstrates her combination of high Victorian morals and religiosity writing that "all passions give their corresponding expression to the countenance" and therefore "the thoughts are completely under our own guidance and must never be allowed to wander idly or sinfully". This copy bears the ownership inscription o [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2017-10-24           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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