Box icon Maria Rundell (1745-1828)

19th century domestic goddess

Female silhouette

Maria Rundell collected recipes and household tips for her daughters. When she had these notes published as 'Domestic Cookery' (1806) it was a surprising and immediate success. It was extremely popular. It was so successful that it went through 65 editions in only 35 years.

The original edition was extended and engravings were added. 'Domestic Cookery' included the first printed reference to Scotch eggs, as well as recipes for mice pies and several suggestions for pig's ears and feet. In addition to the British and European recipes, the book included Indian curries and pickles and Chinese food.

As well as the recipes, Rundell gave hints and instructions for entertaining and throwing dinner parties, and household tips on homemade medicines and making ink.

Although Rundell and John Murray II began as friends, their relationship broke down and ended in ill-tempered threats of legal action. In the end Murray had to pay her £2,100 to settle the matter.

Highlighted items from the archive

NRA Name: Rundell, Maria Eliza (1745-1828) née Ketelby, cookery writer.

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Other Murray authors in politics and society:

'The passion for dinner parties may almost be termed a mania.'
– Manuscript of Rundell (Acc.12604/Box82).

Related link on the web:

'Britain's first domestic goddess' article from Guardian online

Location map of where Maria Rundell lived for a short time:
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