Home Dissertations: An Offering to the Household, 1886, First Edition, First Printing: Antique, hard cover book with the entire title “Home Dissertations: An Offering to the Household for Economical and Practical Skill in Cookery, Orderly Domestic Management, and Nicety in the Appointments of Home with Excerpts from Favorite Authors, Compiled and Illustrated by Mrs. E. Stevens Tilton.” Cookbook was published by Hunter and Beach, Publishers, New York in 1886. Lovely embossed cover is in excellent antique condition, with some shelf wear at the top and bottom of the spine cover, especially at the corners. Binding is tight. All 174 pages are completely clean and clear, except for the first two advertising bpages, which are seriously frayed. Fascinating book. Rare. Very difficult to find. Really shouts out “antique cookbook,” if you are looking for a truely unique gift.
Mrs. Tilton must have been an incredibly talented person. The book has chapters on the home, art at home, the hearthu are looking froostone, flowers, wife, manners, conversation, to-day, happiness, orderly domestic management, keeping house, Emerson on the baby, Mr. Ruskin’s ideas of a model nursery, cleanliness, food and drink, enthusiasm of labor, table etiquette, table talk, dinner giving, table rules for little ones, and French names of dishes used in menus. Then, the cookbook portion of the book follows, a comprehensive cookbook occupying 106 pages of the book. AND Mrs. Tilton apparently produced the extremely detailed many metal engravings illustrating the cookbook. (See the griffon in the illustration here.)
This cookbook includes a 22-page priced catalogue of “fine groceries, wines, &c.” from the Geo. B. Woodman & Co. grocer in Philadelphia, as well as 16 pages for other Philadelphia stores. Most ads are for high-end goods like fine cigars, luggage, champagnes and other fine wines, specialty meats, fine carpetings and furniture, hats, canes and umbrellas, wallpapers, silver and plated ware, sheet music, and banks. Perhaps this book was used as a gift, given by merchants to wealthy clients. Anyone interested in Philadelphia history would be fascinated with Home Dissertations.