AUCTION 68 | Thursday, April 07th, 2016 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Ceremonial Objects and Graphic Art

Back to Catalogue Download Catalogue

Lot 258


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, (1 blank). Stained and worn through use, remnants of ownership labels on opening pastedown and front free endpaper. Original green boards, spine lettered in gilt, heavily rubbed, spine ends worn. 8vo.

London: T. & W. Boone 1846

Est: $7,000 - $9,000
<<The First Kosher Cook-book in the English Language.>> The anonymous author was indeed Lady Judith Montefiore, wife of the celebrated Sir Moses Montefiore of Ramsgate. Lady Judith sought to elevate home cooking with social polish while remaining true to the tenets of Jewish practice. Additionally she intended that 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.” Lady 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 nonetheless enjoyed all other civil rights in full and certainly prized a higher social status than Jews were able to attain elsewhere in Europe.