The Joy of Cooking. A Compilation of Reliable Recipes with a Casual Culinary Chat
original blue cloth lettered in darker blue, pictorial endpapers, bound in red silk bookmark
by ROMBAUER Irma S and BECKER Marion Rombauer
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company Inc., (1967). Reprint. original blue cloth lettered in darker blue, pictorial endpapers, bound in red silk bookmark. Edges very lightly dust soiled, else fine/pictorial dust jacket (a bit dust soiled, edges lightly rubbed, in Brodart). Quarto. 849 pp. with index Illustrated by Ginnie Hofmann and Beverly Warner This title is arguably the most successful cookbook of the twentieth century. As with many towering best sellers, especially those of a non-fiction variety (Alcoholics Anonymous, Emily Post’s Etiquette, the Girl Scout Manual– to cite some examples) the actual first edition is as rare as proverbial hen’s out of stateteeth. This is especially true of a privately published work, such as The Joy of Cooking. The recently widowed (a suicide) Rombauer plunged her $1,500.00 of liquid assets into its printing. Depression era word of mouth sales attracted the attention of the Indiana based publisher Bobbs-Merrill. Since their 1936 edition, over fifteen million copies have been sold worldwide. Rombauer’s work differed from the legion of previous works on the subject in two ways: the pure simplicity of the recipes with their ingredients printed in bold face type with sequential instructions was followed by a chatty, breezy and on the mark banter. In 1995 when the New York Public Library listed its choice of the 150 most influential American books, Rombauer’s was the only cookbook included. Still in print after seventy years, it is an American culinary staple. The charming silhouette illustrations to the chapter headings are by the author’s daughter who would oversee some of the many later editions[See: Bitting p. 403. Brown 1963. Cagle & Stafford 653. DAB. NAWM]. (Inventory #: 33582)
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