Posts on September 2015
from Beyond the Reading Room

Happy 172nd Birthday, Miss Parloa!

Based on her experiences as pastry chef for the Appeldore House resort, "Miss Parloa," as she came to be known to her students and readers, published her first work, The Appeldore Cook Book, in 1872. Over the course of her lifetime, Maria Parloa would go on to found a two cooking schools, publish nine more books, and endorse a variety of culinary products. Miss Parloa stood out from her contemporaries both because of her savvy business acumen and her emphasis on home economics.

Book History in Spain: A Case Study

Title-page of Giovanni Francesco Loredano's Burlas de la fortuna en afectos retoricos (Madrid: Diego Dises, 1688).

In a previous post, I argued that we must judge a book by its cover because the design of an early binding can tell us much about the social status of its former owner. Now, I would like to argue that we can learn a lot about early printing history by examining the preliminary pages of a book.

It's All about Milk!

Copperplate engraving  in Philipp Adolph Böhmer's Epistola anatomica problematica de ductibus mammarum lactiferis (Halle an der Saale, Impensis Orphanotrophei,1742)

A recent addition to our holdings on the history of medicine is a fascinating collection of twenty-five university dissertations, treatises, prize-winning essays, books, and reports, on the subject of milk. Ranging from 1659 to 1822, and published across Europe, these works are extraordinary witnesses of how milk was thoroughly studied from a chemical, medicinal, nutritional, and even a social perspective.