About This Edition

From feigned glory & Usurped Throne
And all the Greatnesse to me falsly shown
And from the Arts of Government set free
See how Protectresse & a Drudge agree

– Inscription below frontispiece portrait (left)

This edition is based on the copy of The Court & Kitchin of Elizabeth, Commonly called Joan Cromwelthe Wife of the Late Usurper (1664) held by the John. J. Burns Library at Boston College. While the text is framed satirically with a frontispiece and an introduction that characterizes Elizabeth Cromwell as cheap and vulgar, the recipes include nothing so farcical as instructions for a stew made of Royalists. In fact, even though some recipes reference the preferences of the Cromwell family, nearly all of them can be traced to other cookbooks of the period – namely Robert May’s The Accomplisht Cook (1660), William Rabisha’s The Whole Book of Cookery Dissected (1661), and Hannah Woolley’s The Gentlewomans Companion (1673), The Accomplish’d Lady’s Delight (1675), and The Compleat Servant-Maid (1677). The annotations in this edition elucidate these links, provide historical context, offer connections to contemporaneous literary texts, and clarify cooking instructions. All ingredients and culinary terminology in the book appear in the Glossary. Over 330 terms are defined and contextualized according to seventeenth century English cultural practices. This edition also features high resolution IIIF images of each page of the book alongside the fully searchable transcribed text.