Manuscript page of Maria Rundell's 'Domestic Cookery' regarding dinner parties

'Domestic Cookery' was not just a collection of recipes, it also contained moral advice and instructions for household management and entertaining. Rundell described hosting a dinner party, for which the fashion 'may almost be termed a mania.' She also warned about the proper selection of company on such occasions.


Page 1 of 2


Copyright National Library of Scotland

Transcription Mark-up QA and corrections QA

To follow the words, “and to the number and rank of
those invited.” page 6 — Introductory observations.

The passion for dinner parties may almost
be termed a mania, in those who cannot keep
up the custom without present inconvenience, and future
loss to their families — Nothing is more com:
:mon than to hear complaints of the increasing
price of provisions from people, who pride
themselves on their entertainments, and
boast the number and rank of the invited.

Little do they imagine that after expending
what cost them many privations, and
perhaps petty meannesses, they have only
subjected themselves to ridicule, for the weak
attempt to emulate their superiors.

The probability of such a mortifying return
should at least regulate the expense, and
check the vanity of the invitor.

A circumstance worth remark, but too little
attended to, is the proper selection of company.
On this greatly depends the pleasure mutually
experienced by the party — but to bring together
persons who have no previous knowledge of
of each others connections or pursuits, and