WALLACE, Mrs. Chandos Leigh Hunt. 366 Vegetarian Menus and Cook’s Guide.

(London): Mrs. C.L.H. Wallace, [1883].  First edition.  Octavo.  viii, 135 pages, xii.  Very scarce vegetarian cookery book, with daily recipes, complete with an in-season meal planner, four courses per meal, (‘a soup, a savoury course, a sweet course, a cheese course, and a beverage, with all their suitable accompaniments’), with no duplication of recipes.  In the volume Hunt Wallace addresses herself directly to the mistress (as did most household books, including Mrs Beeton’s). In this way she acknowledged the role women played in instituting spiritual food reform in the household.  Her book she explained was a way to share information and educate but also “to be a blessing to many ladies….who wish to be saved the daily problem of what shall we have to dinner to-morrow.”  Hunt Wallace was a spiritually inspired medical practitioner and health advisor (and anti-vaccinator) who strongly advocated a vegetarian diet.  A firm believer in the power of food, she argued that modern medicine never cured anybody but that almost any disease could be cured by food, primarily fresh fruit and other healthful foods.  The volume also includes a cook’s guide which details the preparation of many of the dishes includes in the menus.  The volume concludes with a synopsis of her earlier work Physianthropy; on the home cure and eradication of disease.  A very good copy in decorated green cloth with additional gilt decoration and lettering.  An important and early work on vegetarianism.  Worldcat locates just three copies of this first edition.  The volume was reprinted and expanded in 1885.


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