AUCTION 57 | Thursday, January 31st, 2013 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

Back to Catalogue Download Catalogue

Lot 67


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. pp. xxi, 244. Trace browned. Original boards, spine lettered in gilt, rubbed. Sm. 4to.

London: T. & W. Boone 1846

Est: $6,000 - $8,000
<<The First Kosher Cook-book in the English Language. Highly Infrequent to Appear at Auction.>> The anonymous author has now been identified as Lady Judith Montefiore, wife of the celebrated Sir Moses Montefiore of Ramsgate, England. Lady Judith sought to elevate home cooking with social polish while remaining true to the tenets of the Jewish religion. She trusted her cook-book would attract the attention of “those ladies not of the Hebrew persuasion” by providing them with recipes for sophisticated fare that was only incidentally Kosher. Offered here are recipes for traditional Jewish dishes as well as those that reflect the wider culture in which English Jews lived and as could be found “at all refined modern tables.” Given that fashionable Victorian tables were groaning with prohibited foods, including elaborate combinations of dairy and meat, shellfish, and pie crusts made with lard, the author had at hand a tall task. Perhaps more important than the recipes themselves is the fact that Lady Judith served a message that one can be “genteel without being Gentile.” Judith Montefiore belonged to what historian Todd Endelman calls England’s “upper-upper-middle-class.” Although the Jews of England were not permitted to stand for Parliament until the Emancipation Act of 1858, they enjoyed all other civil rights and certainly a higher social status than anywhere else in Europe. (Source: Linda Kulman “Fine Dining,” www.nextbook.org)