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Title: The role of domestic knowledge in an era of professionalisation : eighteenth-century manuscript medical recipe collections
Author: Osborn, Sally Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 5921 0379
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2016
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Manuscript recipe books come in all shapes and sizes and run from tens to hundreds of pages. Those from the eighteenth century are not exclusively culinary, also incorporating medical, veterinary and household recipes. Surviving examples are almost all from genteel or elite households, the people who had time and resources to create them, and are preserved in local archives or dedicated collections. This thesis examines the medical recipes in particular and considers their role at a time when alternatives to domestic healthcare were proliferating: increasing numbers of physicians and surgeons, a growth in apothecaries’ shops, commercial offerings such as proprietary medicines and a variety of irregular practitioners. Advice and remedies in print were also widely available in books, periodicals and newspapers. This is the largest study of eighteenth-century manuscript medical recipes yet undertaken, encompassing 241 collections and a total of 19,134 recipes. It begins by considering the collections themselves as material objects, rather than merely text, which no other major study in this area has done. The range of recipes and ailments are assessed against prevalent illnesses and causes of death, and variations in recipe types identified regionally and temporally. Detailed case studies of coughs and colds, gout, hydrophobia, diet drinks and Daffy’s Elixir illustrate the variety of ingredients and methods, as well as regimens for health and differences by gender and age. Examination of compilers and contributors of recipes demonstrates that both women and men were involved in this practice. Recipe exchange is delineated as a form of social currency requiring trust and reciprocity, and case studies show how knowledge circulated through three forms of network: familial, sociable and political. Finally, a major contribution of this thesis is that it identifies manuscript medical recipe collections as fulfilling four important functions for their compilers: oeconomic, symbolic, personalised and instrumental.
Supervisor: Vallance, Edward ; Brown, Michael ; Pennell, Sara Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: recipes ; eighteenth century