Widdifield’s New Cook Book: or, Practical Receipts for the Housewife.
Widdifield, Hannah.

Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson [1856]. First edition. The publisher’s ad before the title-page describes the present book, with effusive testimonials, such as the assertion by the Evening Bulletin that it is “the very best family Cook Book in existence.” Some fading to cloth. Endpapers and edges toned and some foxing and dampstaining throughout. One signature sprung, but overall sound. Faint pencil signature on front free endpaper. A good copy Original black cloth stamped in blind on covers and stamped and lettered in gilt on spine. Octavo. [2] pp. publisher’s (Item ID: 16680)


We could not find any information on Hannah Widdifield, including dates, but the information provided about her in the present book implies that she was a chef and, perhaps, a restaurant proprietor in Philadelphia. The publisher’s ad included in this book describes Widdifield as “celebrated for many Years for the superiority of every article she made” in her restaurant and that she “long enjoyed great celebrity with the best families in Philadelphia as the most thoroughly informed lady in her profession in this country. Her Establishment…has long enjoyed the patronage of the best livers in our city.” The ad additionally asserts that Widdifield’s book is easily readable, with simple recipes that will “keep your husbands, sons, and brothers in excellent humor.”

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