A Cookery Book Which Was Used Extensively In India And Scotland

Dalgairns, Mrs. The Practice of Cookery Adapted to the Business of Everyday Life. Richard Griffin and Company [London & Glasgow] 1854, 13th edition enlarged, small 8vo. 478pp, some pages missing after 478 (2nd page of Appendix III). Contemporary half leather, very worn but the binding and text block sound. A very well-used, grubby, stained copy but one with considerable atmosphere. Contemporary inscription to half-title M Duncan 1856 To Fanny Bairnsfather with every kind wish, Nov 13th, 1857. Although a grubby copy there is something pleasing about a cookery book which has clearly spent its life in kitchens rather than on a library shelf. Acquired from a member of the Bairnsfather family who assured us that the book had been continually in use, in India, and in Scotland. Provenance: The book came to us from a descendant of Lt Col Peter Bairnsfather who commanded the 14th Bengal Lancers [Murray’s Jat Lancers] in the late 19th century.

One wonders whether the book was in India when it was given to Fanny Bairnsfather, just months after the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny.