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Title: Memory, education, circulation, prestige : form and function of the Austrian manuscript cookery book in the long eighteenth century
Author: Müllneritsch, H. G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 4560
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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In this thesis, I aim to establish a basic typology of manuscript cookery books and contribute to closing gaps in knowledge and material relating to reading and writing in eighteenth-century Austria. I have assembled a small research corpus consisting of 37 manuscripts, allowing for a full analysis of the materiality of each artefact along with its conceptual whole. The corpus is limited by the language used in the volumes and the chronological boundaries of the long eighteenth century. Thirty-five artefacts are penned in the Upper German written language, and I have also included two English-language manuscripts for comparison purposes, especially with regard to characteristics that are perceived as particularly English, such as the inclusion of scientific and educational material. My typology consists of four categories: (1) the memory aid, which functions as a tool for the housewife, servants, and professional cooks/chefs in middle- and upper-class kitchens; (2) the manual of practical instruction, which serves as a reference manual and a teaching aid; (3) the book in its own right, equal to a printed book; and (4) the prestige object, made or commissioned with the aim to own a showpiece. This typology is based on usage and not the physical features and content of the artefacts alone. This makes it possible to record changes occurring in the use of manuscripts over time, as well as to note instances in which there are no changes or interactions at all. In my research, I synthesise studies from both German and Anglo-American scholars to leverage their different research foci. Contextualising the manuscript cookery books in the social history of Europe allows me to compare the observations I make in Austrian artefacts with those of other countries, mainly Great Britain and Ireland. Additionally, this study investigates the work situation of upper- and lower-class women, connecting it with the educational role of the manuscript cookery book and its function as a tool for the professional cook. It examines the skills a woman would have needed to work as a scribe, laying the groundwork for future research on whether eighteenth century women did so, in either a semi-professional or professional fashion. In anticipation of future studies analysing the linguistic dimension of the recipes, I highlight the importance of keeping the peculiarities of the Upper German written language in mind when exploring the level of education a manuscript exhibits. Lastly, this work documents the involvement of men in creating, owning, and using manuscript cookery books. While it is not unknown that men have contributed, studies are still rare in German-speaking scholarship. Almost half of the manuscripts in the research corpus are anonymous, displaying names of neither makers nor owners. There is so far no study that gives anonymous manuscripts greater attention with regards to their function in the household or as gift books for patrons.
Supervisor: Rosenhaft, Eve ; Croenen, Godfried Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral