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Cookbook Review – Mrs. Charles Darwin's Recipe Book

Updated on December 21, 2008

Are you looking for a gift idea that will be perfect for someone who is both a history book and a cooking enthusiast? If so, consider selecting Mrs. Charles Darwin's Recipe Book. Written by Dusha Bateson and Weslie Janeway, this book contains recipes straight from the 19th century notebook compiled by Emma Wedgwood Darwin, wife of noted scientist Chares Darwin.

Mrs. Darwin is one of the most notable women of the Victorian era. She lived from 1808 until 1896. Those who have spent time studying the life of Charles Darwin have long been aware of the fact that Mrs. Darwin kept a cookery notebook. Mrs. Charles Darwin's Recipe Book represents the first time her recipes have been made available to the public at large. In addition to Mrs. Darwin's original recipes, the book provides a unique insight into what life was like for the intellectual and social elite in England during the 19th Century.

Anyone with an interest in the Victorian era is likely to find this book to be quite fascinating. They'll enjoy preparing dishes from the era, as well as benefit from having an opportunity to benefit from Mrs. Darwin's first hand accounts of meal preparation and socializing during this time in history. The book contains a wealth of information about the lifestyle of the Darwin family, providing a unique perspective on the times in which they lived and entertained.

Victorian Era Recipes for Your Kitchen

The recipes in Mrs. Charles Darwin's Recipe Book are straight from her notebook, but have been tested by the books authors for modern cooking. Some of the recipes you'll find in the book that your modern day friends and family are likely to enjoy include:

  • Buttered Eggs
  • Celery Sauce
  • Broiled Mushrooms
  • Cheese Straws
  • Compote of Apples
  • Fish Croquettes
  • Italian Vegetable Soup
  • Quince Jelly
  • Scotch Cake

For History and Cooking Buffs

It's rare to find a book that will appeal equally to history buffs and culinary aficionados. This book truly meets that unique standard. It provides readers with a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of the intellectual nobility from a much earlier time. It also provides a glimpse into the real life of one of the most noted scientific minds from days gone by. Whether you enjoy preparing and eating the recipes, or if you find the anecdotal information to be fascinating or both, this book is destined to be one of the most unique volumes in your personal library.


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  • Nayberry profile image

    Nayberry 8 years ago from

    I'll have to have to this book now that you have mentioned it. :)


  • foodstorage profile image

    foodstorage 8 years ago from Utah

    This looks like a really interesting book!