• Another image of EN LITEN HUSHÅLLS-BOK, by RÜCKERSCHÖLD (or RÜCKERSKÖLD), Anna Maria.
  • Another image of EN LITEN HUSHÅLLS-BOK, by RÜCKERSCHÖLD (or RÜCKERSKÖLD), Anna Maria.
  • Another image of EN LITEN HUSHÅLLS-BOK, by RÜCKERSCHÖLD (or RÜCKERSKÖLD), Anna Maria.
Cooking on a budget - teaching young housewives how to cook tasty & healthy food

EN LITEN HUSHÅLLS-BOK, innehållande säkra underrättelser, om rätta beredningen af hwarjehanda äteliga waror, unga matmödrar til tjenst. Tredje uplagen. Stockholm, Tryckt hos Joh. Christ. Holmberg.

1790. 8vo, pp. [viii], 79, [1] blank; with attractive woodcut head- and tail-pieces; some foxing and browning throughout due to paper quality; in contemporary sprinkled half-calf over paper boards, spine in compartments with raised bands, ruled in gilt with paper label, head and tail of spine nicked and worn, covers a little darkened, corners bumped and worn; with attractive engraved book-plate on front pastedown of Carl Gustaf von Liewen, and the ex-libris of Kurt Winberg on rear paste-down; a good copy. Scarce and appealing third edition (first 1785, itself rare), of this ‘small household book’ - a practical guide to domestic management for young housewives and mothers, by the noted Swedish cookery writer, Anna Maria Rückerschöld (1725-1805), and one of four works published cookery and domestic science.
Whilst many 18th century cookbooks were celebrations of culinary delights and magnificent feasts, those of Rückerschöld highlighted everyday cooking, and in this instance is aimed in particular at the burgeoning middle-classes. En Liten Hushålls-Bok provides the young, new 'housewife', with the basics of good housekeeping, and includes practical and sensible advice on a range of topics from everyday food preparation, food preservation, bread-baking and cooking, the management of stock and poultry, the use of local fresh supplies of fruit, vegetables and fish, the importance, uses and benefits of potatoes. A few recipes are provided, though the focus seems to be more on how to improve the taste of more ordinary dishes, though the addition of sugar or salt for example. The final few pages are devoted to household remedies for complaints such as rashes, eye-sores, diarrhoea, and basic injuries such as cuts and abrasions.
Though from a wealthy family herself, Rückerschöld was clearly something of a reformer with a strong social conscious. Opposed to gluttony and excess, she was a firm believer that a mother should keep strict, efficient and economical control of her household and that she should act as a role-model for all. According to Rückerschöld, a well-managed domestic situation, both morally and in practice, was of benefit not only to the family, but to the nation as a whole, and her works are noted for advocating humility, cleanliness, frugality and efficiency. Indeed, she was sometimes at odds with her more illustrious contemporary colleagues such as Carolina Weltzin (1754-1812), and Cajsa Warg (1703-1769), whom Rückerschöld felt, particularly in the case of Warg, were concerned more with the art of cookery than sensible home management. Indeed Rückerschöld, in her work Den Nya och Fullständiga Kok-boken (1796), warned her readers that following the advice of Warg could risk the household's welfare!
Rückerschöld was the granddaughter of the Swedish scientist, inventor and industrialist Christopher Polhem (1661-1751). Though she married Jonas Dahl in 1750, she kept her maiden name. Her other works included ‘Den Nya och Fullständiga Kok-boken’ (1796) and ‘Fattig Mans Wisthus och Kök’ (1796).
Provenance: The charming book-plate, engraved by Johan Frederik Martin (1755-1816), is that of Carl Gustaf von Liewen (1748-1809) served in the Royal Swedish Army, and was a lieutenant in the Life Guards. He served both the Queen Dowager Louisa Ulrika, and Gustaf III. He also fought in the American War of Independence. He acquired a fine library, which was eventually sold to Gustaf Piper.

Bibliography: Du Rietz, ‘Gastronomisk spegel’ 49; Leijonhufvud & Brithelli, ‘Kvinnan inom svenska litteraturen’, p. 145; Stamford (our previous copy) Not on OCLC, with KVK citing only one copy of this edition at the National Library of Sweden.

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