Penn Library Exhibitions

HOUSEHOLD WORDS: Women Write from and for the Kitchen

Portrait of Elizabeth Raffald
from The Experienced English Housekeeper, 10th ed.
by Elizabeth Raffald
London: R. Baldwin, 1787

Elizabeth Raffold begins her cookery book, The Experienced English Housekeeper, with a dedication to Lady Elizabeth Warburton after fifteen years of service as her housekeeper. After the publication and success of her book, Raffold's career continued to blossom with both entrepreneurial ventures and public works. Though one of the most popular cookbook writers of the eighteenth century, she also owned and managed two taverns, a sweet shop, and cooking school. She developed directories for her home city of Manchester and also established a post office there. To add to her list of accomplishments, Elizabeth was also a mother. Some say she had sixteen daughters; others claim nine. According to Roy Shipperbottom, in the introduction to the 1997 facsimile edition of The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald had six daughters who were baptised, "only three [of whom] survived their mother."

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