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MARKHAM, Gervase.

The English Hous-Wife,

containing the inward and outward vertues which ought to be in a compleat woman: as her skill in physick, surgery, cookery, extraction of oyles, banquetting stuffe, ordering of great feasts, preserving of all sorts of wines, conceited secrets, distillations, perfumes, ordering of wool, hemp, flax: making cloth and dying; the knowledge of dayries: office of malting; of oats, their excellent uses in a family: of brewing, baking, and all other things belonging to an houshold. A work generally approved, and now the seventh time much augmented, purged, and made most profitable and necessary for all men, and the generall good of this nation. By G.M.

London: Printed by W. Wilson, for E. Brewster, and George Sawbridge, 1660 Stock Code: 129225
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Later edition of this popular 17th-century guide to housewives. The work is in two parts: the first offers a guide to domestic medical recipes, including to whiten teeth, aid conception, ameliorate venereal diseases and cure drunkenness; the second part acts mostly as a cook book, alongside guides to brewing drinks and preparing cloth. The work was originally published in 1623 as "Country contentments, or the English huswife" and was first published in a stand-alone edition in 1631. There were over twenty printings by the end of the century, including those printed in Markham's collected works. Gervase Markham (1568-1637) wrote extensively in the fields of literature, horsemanship, and country pursuits, with his works undergoing almost 200 editions by the end of the 17th century.

Provenance: The Lawes Agricultural Library, with their pencilled shelfmarks to front pastedown and title page, though without direct attribution. The library was assembled in the early 20th century by Sir John Russell, director of the Rothamsted agricultural research institution in Hertfordshire, and ranked as one of the finest English collections of agricultural material.

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Quarto (184 x 141 mm). 19th-century quarter speckled calf with red marbled sides, rebacked with tan morocco with red morocco label lettered in gilt.


A couple of contemporary manicules in margins. Light wear to board extremities, brown cloth strengthening strips to hinges, lightly browned with some foxing, a few instances of miniscule worming, tiny spill-burn hole to p. 169. A very good copy.


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