Every kitchen has at least one well-worn cookbook, but just how did they come to be? Invention of the Modern Cookbook is the first study to examine that question, discussing the roots of these collections in 17th-century England and illuminating the cookbook's role as it has evolved over time.
Readers will discover that cookbooks were the product of careful invention by highly skilled chefs and profit-minded publishers who designed them for maximum audience appeal, responding to a changing readership and cultural conditions and utilizing innovative marketing and promotion techniques still practiced today. They will see how cookbooks helped women adjust to the changes of the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution by educating them on a range of subjects from etiquette to dealing with household servants. And they will learn how the books themselves became "modern," taking on the characteristics we now take for granted.