All posts by Rebecca Laroche

Rebecca Laroche is Professor of English at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She has published on Shakespeare, early modern women’s writing, medical history, and ecofeminism. In 2009, her monograph *Medical Authority and Englishwomen’s Herbal Texts, 1550–1650* was published with Ashgate. She was the guest-curator of the recent exhibition “Beyond Home Remedy: Women, Medicine, and Science” at the Folger Shakespeare Library. *Ecofeminist Approaches to Early Modernity*, which she co-edited with Jennifer Munroe, came out with Palgrave Macmillan at the end of 2011. She is currently working on a single-author monograph entitled *Shakespeare, the Herbal, and the Intimate History of Plants* and co-authoring *Shakespeare and Ecofeminist Theory*, again with Jennifer Munroe, for the Arden Shakespeare and Theory series. She is a founding and present member of the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective (EMROC), an international digital humanities project (emroc.hypotheses.org).

Exploring CPP 10a214: Close Textual Ties

By Rebecca Laroche with Hillary Nunn

Hillary Nunn’s discoveries about the identification of the Layfield hand of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia (CPP) manuscript with Edward Layfield, Archdeacon of Essex, has had me reconsidering earlier entries in this series having to do with religion and the recipes, in particular the exclusion of the “angel” from Elizabeth Downing’s version of the “Flos Unguentorum, or the Flower of Ointments.” [1]

The Historical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Manuscript 10a214, page 1. Personal photo included with permission

In my research I have found that other examples of this recipe appearing throughout the English Civil War era call this ointment “The Angel Salve,” others still the less evocative “Yellow Salve,” but there are only a handful of pre-1700 versions that include an expansion on the origin myth of the salve in which an angel descended on a “religious house” in Germany to exclaim the many virtues of the ointment. The most notable of these expansions is found in Philatros’ Natura Exenterata (1655), [2] a recipe which is likely to come from Anne Dacre Howard (1557/8-1630), a rough contemporary of Elizabeth Downing, mother of Calybute, and this version of the recipe, of the more than thirty recipes I have examined, remains the closest to Elizabeth Downing’s.  This entry looks at these two versions with relation to another pre-Civil War example in an attempt to hone the nature of their connection and to bring another print text into the network of the CPP manuscript.

The third pre-1640 example is from an anonymous text, A booke of soueraigne approued medicines and remedies, first published in 1577. [3] Ultimately, my argument is that the 1577 version is the source text for the Dacre recipe, as it is very close to it in many details. The ways that the Downing example diverges from Soueraigne approued medicines are in line with the Natura text, but then the Downing adds further variances and eliminates expansions, which suggests that the Dacre manuscript is its source, not vice versa.

The first page of A booke of soueraigne approued medicines and remedies (1577)

As I have mentioned before one major difference between the Natura Exenterata and the Downing recipe is where the virtues appear relative to the recipe, where the print text lists the many virtues first before giving the recipe and the manuscript lists them on a page following the recipe.  This is the one way in which the Natura diverges from its source in a significant way in that Approued medicines lists the virtues on the verso of the first folio of the text, just as the Downing version lists the virtues on the recto opposite the recipe. This correspondence and the manuscript’s use of “powder” (found in the 1577 text) rather than “pounded” as transcribed in the Natura Exenterata would suggest that the Downing is closer to the 1577 text, but in interpreting this information, we must remember that there is at least one missing text, the Dacre manuscript from which Natura was derived, and “pounded” suggests a mistranscription in the move into print from the minims of “poudred.”  Similarly, the transposition in making the virtues first may have been a choice of the printer.  The real evidence of the sourcing of the texts is the way that Natura embellishes on the 1577 version, expansions which then are contracted, replicated, or left out by the Downing manuscript.

The most conspicuous of these expansions is the way that Dacre fills in the myth, which in the 1577 version is only “Thys Intret is called Flos vnguentorum for that it is supposed for hys vertues to haue come to knowledge by revelation.” In Natura Exenterata, the context of the revelation is given details in “this intreat is called flos unguentorum, for it cometh of Jesu Christi by an Angell to a house of Religion at the red hill in Almayn, which wrought there many marvails, and never had other medicine but this.”  Also, a phrase from the 1577 “it healeth faster than any other” becomes in Natura “it healeth more in a sevenight then any other in a Month.”  The Downing version includes neither of these, either in their short or long version, which as it would give the Dacre nothing from which to expand, indicates that the Downing is derived from the Dacre. Other changes made in Natura from the earlier print text that appear in Downing imply at least a close relation between the 1640 manuscript version and the manuscript source of the Natura.  In the 1577 version, the ingredient is “Harts talow,” but in Natura it is “Harts suet,” which becomes “Deares suett” in the Downing version. The 1577 “searce it and boyle them all together” becomes in Natura “finely searsed, and boyle them over the fire,” which is then clarified in Downing’s “and being finely searsed, boyle them ouer the fire.” A direction in the anonymous text about making sure that the Camphire and Turpentine be added only when the rest is “cold as blood” or else “all is lost” is found in the list of virtues, which Dacre moves to its rightful place in the recipe, transformed to “no hotter than blood” or else “it marreth all your stuffe,” a move replicated in the Downing, becoming “but blood warme” and “it marres all.” The anonymous text calls the “Flower of Ointments” “one of the purest salues that can be made,” and the Dacre text changes to the “best and most precious salve that can be made,” which Downing shortens to “a most pretious salue.” The combination of the expansions in the Natura and the terse language in the Downing thus suggests that the Dacre has a closer proximity to the 1577 text, and that the Downing recipe is derived from the Dacre.

Of course, as is getting to be the case in this series, there is a third possibility in that alongside the print texts from 1577 and 1655, and the 1640 manuscript and the implied Dacre manuscript source for Natura, we should consider the other implied manuscript, the one from which Calybute Downing copied his mother’s recipes. After all, it may be from Elizabeth Downing’s own receipt that words were mistranscribed, expansions were left out by some and copied faithfully by others, orders were changed, and phrases were clarified and confounded.  We can determine, however, that the Downing and the Dacre recipes have an affinity, one that complicates and nuances the networks in front of us.

[1] The Historical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Manuscript 10a214, pp. 1–2.

[2] Philatros, Natura Exenterata, London 1655, p. 332.

[3] Anonymous, A booke of soueraigne approued medicines and remedies, fol. A2r–A2v.

 

 

 

 

 

This is How My Grandmother Cooks: Manuscript Recipes in the Composition Classroom

By Samantha Snively

This past summer, the relationship between early modern recipes and teaching undergraduates was on everyone’s mind at the “Teaching Early Modern Recipes in the Digital Age” workshop at Attending to Early Modern Women. How could we bring manuscript receipt collections into our classrooms, and what could students learn from them?

Manuscript recipes raise questions of form, genre, and purpose, and these questions are key to undergraduate writers’ development of academic writing skills. Most of the ideas proposed in June were intended for literature or history courses, but as a graduate student teaching a standardized composition syllabus, I wanted to know: What could manuscript recipes teach an introductory composition course about writing?

I ran the experiment this winter in my UWP001: Expository Writing class, and it turns out that manuscript recipes are perfect texts to think with in a composition classroom. I incorporated selected manuscript recipes into a unit on rhetorical analysis, and a day on “Genre” seemed most germane for my class to discuss the ways that manuscript recipes intricately combine genre and form with audience concerns. I wanted my students to realize that formal, generic, and linguistic choices are vital to constructing rhetorical messages.

Wellcome manuscripts 2535 and 3107
Wellcome manuscripts 2535 and 3107

I used two recipes from the Wellcome Library’s digital collections: a recipe for “biskett bread” from the 1686 recipe book of Elizabeth Godfrey & others (MS 2535, folio 14) and a recipe for “ginger bread cake” from the 1699 manuscript of Edward & Katharine Kidder (MS3107, folios 19 and 20). I paired this with a recipe for “French Bread” from Hannah Woolley’s 1672 The Exact Cook (142).

However, it would be cruel to make a group of undergrads read 17th-century handwriting, so I transcribed the manuscripts for our discussion. I then asked my students: Based on these texts, what are the formal conventions of a recipe? How does the genre change over time, or among rhetorical situations? And what do these genre conventions suggest about audience expectations and expertise?

My students were at first bemused by the diction, phrasing, and imprecision of the 17th-century recipes, but quickly inferred audience expectations from the genre conventions they observed. They noted that the form of a manuscript recipe required a variety of literacies in its audiences, and from there were argued that manuscript recipes also assumed a body of experiential knowledge acquired prior to reading the recipe.[1] We then discussed the reciprocity of this relationship: if you can infer qualities about the audience from a text, how might a writer use genre conventions to interact with their audience?

Recipe slide 2My students at first had some difficulty articulating the complex way that recipes both required and contributed to a shared culture of experiential knowledge. They found the injunction in Woolley’s recipe to “let not your Oven be too hot,” odd in a text intended to teach its audience a new skill. However, they were able to navigate this question by retracing these ideas through their own experiences interacting with recipes. A number of students noted that “this sounds like the way my grandmother describes her recipes/makes her food,” and we discussed the way that genres function as a contract between writer and reader.

Student wisdom
Student wisdom

Using recipes to think about the ways an audience for a piece of rhetoric is partially determined by form was a productive exercise for my composition students. Not only were they able to watch a genre develop and change over time—thereby realizing the social nature of written genres—they were also able to think about their own abilities to control and work with genre conventions to further their own rhetorical message.

[1] Wendy Wall describes this as “kitchen literacy” in “Literacy and the Domestic Arts.” Huntington Library Quarterly 73.3 (2010): 383-412.

This post was first published on the emroc blog (early modern recipes online collective) on 24/02/2016

Exploring CPP 10a214: Anne Layfield Reading Bishop Andrewes

By Rebecca Laroche with Hillary Nunn

In our June entry on the College of Physicians of Philadelphia Layfield manuscript, I introduced the pages written in Anne Layfield’s own hand, the devotional pages that begin the Layfield half of the book. These devotions were unusual for this collection which otherwise consisted of recipes but such pages commonly appear in recipe collections in general. A quick bibliographic Text Creation Partnership search reveals that these pages are copied directly out of Humphrey Moseley’s translation of Bishop Lancelot Andrewes’s (1555–1626) Latin writings, The Private Devotions of the Right Reverend Father in God Lancelot Andrewes, which by some bibliographic sources seems to be first published in the very small print duodecimo in 1647.

Lancelot Andrewes (1555–1626), overseer of the King James Bible Translation, was a highly regarded figure during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I.

Bishop Andrewes, c. 1660
Bishop Andrewes, c. 1660

Bishop of the Church of England, he went with James I in 1617 to preach to the Scots about the importance of the Episcopacy.[1] His works underwent many translations after his death, and it would seem that Anne Layfield had one of the earliest print translations of the “Horologe of Prayer,” taken from the first pages of Moseley’s translation.

Looking at the print text itself, it is clear why Layfield would copy out the extensive “Horologe” into her quarto notebook. In the duodecimo format, each page contains one or two passages, and the Horologe takes up 15 pages.

The Historical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Manuscript 10a214, fol. 238. Personal photo included with permission.
The Historical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Manuscript 10a214, fol. 238. Personal photo included with permission.

Layfield’s exquisite italic spread out over four pages allows the reader to see the entire prayer schema, which maps scripture onto diurnal cycles from morning through night, with the relevant biblical passages. Layfield’s format also puts the Biblical references in the margins, whereas the print text has them embedded within the devotions themselves. Layfield’s rearrangement of the knowledge increases the accessibility to the key points of each prayer, thus the print text helps us to see why this passage would be copied out even if Anne Layfield owned the book itself.

The other way that this relationship between manuscript and print illuminates the composition of the collection, moreover, is in the date it provides. Before now, we had  only the date of Anne Layfield’s ownership inscription, 1640.  If pages 240–236 are copied out in 1647, not only are they transcribed long after Layfield acquires the notebook held in Philadelphia, but they also are written three years after the death of Calybute Downing, the recorded compiler of the other half of the document. If Calybute Downing, therefore, had anything to do directly with the origins of the book, as the recipe entries that end “per me Cal. Downing” imply, then this later date would position the Downing half as being written before the majority of the entries in the do-si-do Layfield section or as being copied from an unknown earlier manuscript composed by Downing.

What is more, between Anne Layfield’s contributions to the collection in 1640 and in 1647, in late 1641 or early 1642 Calybute Downing published anonymously An Appeale to Everye Impartiall, Judicious and Godly Reader, arguing for a presbyterian reform of church organization, marking the side he would take in the emerging conflict. By the end of 1642, he had become chaplain in the Lord of Essex’s army for the Parliamentarian cause.[2]

One can imagine that with growing tensions around the bishopric in Civil War England, publishing translations of the work of Andrewes, a man who in his lifetime was representative of the Episcopacy, would have a similar political import. In not only purchasing such a book, but also in copying it down in the later 1640s, Anne Layfield may be signifying her own position in the divide.

Throughout these explorations, we have been noting the various religio-political affiliations of the individuals connected to the Layfield-Downing Manuscript. Seemingly extraneous to the recipe book itself, these devotions add another layer to the text’s complexity, as they reveal the importance of the date of composition. Even as the book is dated 1640 by her, the devotional materials tell us that it was still in Anne Layfield’s possession late in the Civil War. These dates help mark its compilation across a time of religious conflict between at least two households that would come to position themselves relative to that conflict.

For more information on CPP 10a214 and other posts in this series, go here.

[1].P. E. McCullough, “Lancelot Andrewes,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [Online].
[2]. Barbara Donagan, “Calybute Downing,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [Online].

 

 

 

Exploring CPP 10a214: The Place of Devotion

By Rebecca Laroche with Hillary Nunn

Since we last posted in 2014, Hillary Nunn and I have been able to meet in Philadelphia and look at the College of Physicians manuscript together. This was an unprecedented convergence, and we are now seeing the manuscript’s and the collaboration’s richness anew. My next two entries will be about an aspect of the book I’d previously overlooked: the devotional materials at the beginning of the Layfield section.

From the back, the order of pages is as follows:

  • Page 245, Anne Layfield’s Calligraphic Inscription [right side up],
  • Page 243, Recipe in the Downing hand, [right side up] (for a discussion of this intermixture of hands see the discussion from November).
  • Page 241, Poem in E. Layfield’s hand [Do-si-do], “Samuel Googe his Diett”
  • Then continuing in do-si-do, pages 240–236 are five pages dedicated to the structures and purposes of prayer in a beautiful italic.
The Historical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Manuscript 10a214, fol. 238. Personal photo included with permission.
The Historical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Manuscript 10a214, fol. 238. Personal photo included with permission.

Upon this viewing, we have realized that these devotions are written in a less-calligraphic hand of Anne Layfield herself, the only other pages than the transcription that are hers.

Now if we read Anne Layfield’s signature rather than the Downing side as the start of her book, these devotions inaugurate her medical collection, with the dominant hands inserting themselves between her signature and the devotionals. This post considers the commonness of these kinds of inclusions, particularly at the beginning, within recipe books and what we may learn from them.

Many recipe books contain individual prayers or devotions. A simple search of the Wellcome Library catalogue reveals religious texts within volumes owned by Elizabeth Bulkeley, Mary Hodges, and Bridget Parker. More pointedly, I know of two other substantial collections that begin with a prayer or devotional text. At the Wellcome, Lady Frances Catchmay’s lengthy volume begins with “A Prayer to be sayd at all tymes to defend thee from thy Enemyes.” In its content and the repetition of “in the name of Jesus,” one can see the relevance for a book of medical recipes.

Wellcome Library MS 184a, Digital Image 3.
Wellcome Library MS 184a, Digital Image 3.

Another volume held at the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Codex 823, does not have an ownership inscription, and its front matter consists of sixteen pages of prayers and devotional materials. These pages include “A Briefe discourse of the / maner and order of the departing /of the Ladye Katherine by one hole night wherin / she dyed in the morning.” The reference seems to be to Lady Catherine Grey, whose death in 1567 has timed the manuscript’s origins in the late Tudor period.[1]

What these devotions are doing in the recipe collections is yet another of many points of speculation in considering historical recipes. They may be a way to spend time meaningfully in particularly tedious recipe-making and/or they may locate the owner’s medical practice within her/his larger devotional work. We should not underestimate, moreover, what they can tell us about the owners and their contexts. In the ways that the Lady Catherine reference allows us to locate an anonymous manuscript in time, Anne Layfield’s devotions and its central text, “The Horologe or Diall of Prayer,” can tell us much about the sequencing and timing of the manuscripts construction. The source for this text and its implications are the subject of our series’s next installment in August.

[1] University of Pennsylvania Manuscript Catalog, Codex 823. The Digital facsimile may be seen here.