Monday, May 11, 2009

But wait - there's more

I'm a lucky girl. My sister purchased this book for me from the Brotherhood of St Lawrence on line. Who knew you could op shop on line?

Mrs Beeton's Simple Cookery in Colour from 1978 not only has glorious colour pictures of interesting foods. It is also in metric. No more tricky conversions - if I want to make something simple. This book was also published by Ward Lock & Co. which led me to some wikipeding to see what I could find about them.

Yep, there they are. Apparently publishing since 1854 when it was founded by Ebenezer Ward and George Lock (you just don't see enough Ebenezers about these days), Ward Lock & Co opened their Melbourne office in 1888. The company is still in existence and its imprint is still used by Penguin Books.

Ward Lock & Co boast such authors as Mrs Beeton, as well as Nigel Tranters early works, Dornfold Yates and Thomas Hugnes and published the revised edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

However, my copy of Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book was printed by Foy & Gibson. It's a special edition. Foy & Gibson (also known as Foys) was one of Australia's earliest department store chains, modelled on Le Bon Marché in Paris and other European and American Stores of the period. Interestingly, their first store was in Smith Street, Melbourne, which is not more than 3 major roads from my house, and their warehouse/factory was also nearby. So actually, my little book hasn't travelled very far from where it was created (well, sold at the very least.)

I presume it was some kind of collarboration between Ward Lock & Co and Foy & Gibson to release a special edition. But definitely requires further investigation.

Sadly, Foy & Gibson no longer exist.
But the warehouse in Collingwood still stands. So I can see it when I ride my bicycle up to the supermarket nearby.

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