home Events and Exhibits, Special Collections and Archives Friday Food: Isabella Beeton’s Recipe for Baked Beef, 1861

Friday Food: Isabella Beeton’s Recipe for Baked Beef, 1861

beeton1_lgAs the oldest girl in a family of twenty-one children, Isabella Mayson (1836–1865) had ample practice in the domestic arts by the time she married Samuel Beeton at the age of 20.  Samuel was an innovative editor and publisher, and Isabella participated fully in his publishing business, putting her domestic skills to work as editor of the English Woman's Domestic Magazine. The year after her marriage, Isabella also began work on the monumental compendium of domestic science that is The Book of Household Management.  The book was first published it in 1861, when Isabella was only 25, and it was an immediate success due to her attention to accuracy, economy, and taste.

Isabella died of childbed fever only a few years later, at the age of 28.  After her death, Samuel sold the rights to her book to the publisher Ward, Lock, and Tyler, whose intense marketing created the Victorian domestic icon that Mrs. Beeton later became.

Baked Beef (Cold Meat Cookery)beeton2_lg

Ingredients.—About 2 lbs. of cold roast beef, 2 small onions, 1 large carrot or two small ones, 1 turnip, a small bunch of savoury herbs, salt and pepper to taste, 4 tablespoonfuls of gravy, 3 tablespoonfuls of ale, crust or mashed potatoes.
Mode.— Cut the beef in slices, allowing a small amount of fat to each slice; place a layer of this in the bottom of a pie-dish, with a portion of the onions, carrots, and turnips, which must be sliced; mince the herbs, strew them over the meat, and season with pepper and salt. Then put another layer of meat, vegetables, and seasoning; and proceed in this manner until all the ingredients are used. Pour in the gravy and ale (water may be substituted for the former, but it is not so nice), cover with a crust or mashed potatoes, and bake for ½ hour, or rather longer.
Time.—Rather more than ½ hour.
Average cost, exclusive of the meat, 6d.
Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.
Seasonable at any time.
Note.—It is as well to parboil the carrots and turnips before adding them to the meat, and to use some of the liquor in which they were boiled as a substitute for gravy ; that is to say, when there is no gravy at hand. Be particular to cut the onions in very thin slices.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust or Find the 1899 edition in Special Collections

Don't miss Food Sense, the 2012 Life Sciences and Society Symposium, March 16-18.  SCARaB will be participating with an exhibition of books on science and nutrition.

home Events and Exhibits, Special Collections and Archives Friday Food: The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse

Friday Food: The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse

glasse002_lg In March,Special Collections, Archives and Rare Books will be participating in Food Sense, the 2012 Life Sciences and Society Symposium, with an exhibition of books on science and nutrition.  We also maintain a collection of rare and historic cookbooks dating from the seventeenth through the twentieth century.  To highlight these rich holdings, we’ll be sharing a recipe each week through March 16, the symposium weekend.

This week’s feature is Hannah Glasse.  Born in 1708, Glasse eloped at age 16.  By the time she was 40, she found herself living in not-so-genteel poverty as a widow with ten children.  Glasse turned to writing cookbooks to support her family, publishing The Art of Cookery in 1747.  Although The Art of Cookery was very successful, Glasse still ended up in debtor’s prison.  To add insult to injury, the public didn’t think that such a successful cookbook could have been written by a woman.  The cookbook was thought to have been written by Dr. John Hill, using Hannah Glasse as a penname, until the 1930s.

Hannah Glasse’s Recipe for Pound Cakeglasse003_lg

Take a pound of butter, beat it in an earthen pan with your hand one way, till it is like a fine thick cream, then have ready twelve eggs, but half the whites; beat them well, and beat them up with the butter, a pound of flour beat in it, a pound of sugar, and a few carraways. Beat it all well together for an hour with your hand, or a great wooden spoon, butter a pan and put it in, and then bake it an hour in a quick oven. For change, you may put in a pound of currants, clean washed and picked.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust or Find a 1774 edition in Special Collections

Student Spotlight: Jen Para

Jen ParaJennifer Para is a freshman from Rogers, Arkansas, majoring in business. As part of Julie Christenson's section on the ancient world, part of the honors humanities sequence, Jen and her classmates worked with rare and historic materials in Special Collections, including ancient materials and fifteenth- and sixteenth-century editions of the classics. Jen shares her insights and reactions below.



phaer1_smGlancing through rare books at Ellis Library, a certain leather bound novel with a delicate design imprinted into the spine catches your eye. The marbled paper cover reminds you of exquisite stones with white and gold specks reflecting the bouncing sun, meshed together in a pond of blood. Touching the book, you are surprised at its smoothness, and you wonder why the book does not fall apart at your caress. On the book’s spine you notice gold lettering revealing the title of the book: Aeneidos. This epic poem is a 1583 copy of Phaer and Twyne’s translation of Virgil’s Aeneid.

Flipping through the book, you observe old English type and strain your eyes to read it.  You come to the beginning of a chapter with an intricate black border in which an “Argument” gives a summery of the chapter. As you look through the epic poem, you see no page numbers, only words at the bottom of each page. Curious, you ask the librarian. She informs you that the printing process included folding the papers together, using the first and last words of a page to ensure the correct order.

At the end of each chapter there seems to be a Latin copyright, and you also notice small printed notes in the margins. Between books twelve and thirphaer3_smteen you find the authors’ letter to their readers. Phaer and Twyne intended their translation of the Aeneid to be read by “maisters and students of universities,” who “will not bee too much offended,” by their raw translation, and “pray they will correct the errors escaped in the printing.”

Curious about Phaer and Twyne, you begin researching for more information. Thomas Phaer, a native to Pembrokeshire, translated The Aeneid into one of the oldest meters in English, the fourteener. According to scholars, it was a good attempt, but not attractive. Unfortunately, Phear died while translating the tenth book. Not wanting to leave the work unfinished, Thomas Twyne edited and finished the last two and a half books in 1573.

You look through the book once again. This copy is not an original nor a textbook; there are no handwritten notes anywhere. But in book ten, phaer2_smyou see calligraphy and make out words “Hugh Bateman”, “Thomas Payne”, “1767 London”, “Dronfield”. Partaking in more research, you find record of several Hugh Batemans at Dronfield.

You come to the conclusion that this epic-poem, due to its lack of use and penmanship practicing, was most likely a “coffee-table book”. Its gorgeous cover could capture the eyes of any person, but its translation made it very difficult to read. You picture in your mind this epic poem, sitting on a rosewood desk, collecting dust, until a man opens it up to dab ink off his quill. Closing the book, you sigh, knowing you are only partaking in guesswork. You wonder what conversations it has overheard, who read its pages, and how it ended up at the Ellis Library at the University of Missouri. If only books could talk.

Have an outstanding student you'd like to nominate for the Spotlight?  Email SpecialCollections@missouri.edu.

home Cycle of Success, Special Collections and Archives Teaching spotlight: Julie Christenson

Teaching spotlight: Julie Christenson

This semester, Special Collections will be turning the spotlight on our patrons each month by highlighting teaching and student work inspired by the collections.  This post kicks off the semester and focuses on the teaching of Julie Christenson.  Julie visited Special Collections with her section of Humanities 2111H (The Ancient World; part of the Honors Humanities Sequence).  We corresponded with her via email to get her thoughts on Special Collections and undergraduate instruction.

SC: Can you give us some information about yourself?
I am a graduate student instructor in the English department. I am writing my dissertation on the poetics of commemoration in medieval England. I am interested in the poetic strategies of texts designed to commemorate events and figures.

SC: How did you incorporate Special Collections into your teaching last semester?IMG_6305_sm
My students came for two visits. On their first visit, Kelli Hansen introduced several pieces from the collections that were relevant to the texts my students were studying. For their second visit, each student worked with one of the pieces that had been introduced during the previous session. They used their observations as the basis of a 2–3 page manuscript analysis.

SC: What outcomes resulted from your class visits? What were the effects on your students?
I think it’s good for students to realize that classical and medieval literature served a vital function within much different material, social, and aesthetic frameworks. There is just no comparison to experiencing a one-of-a-kind book, seeing the hole in the parchment where the animal had been bitten by a mosquito, to seeing the pages darkened from generations of hands turning the pages.

IMG_6304_smSC: What advice would you give to faculty or instructors interested in using Special Collections in their courses?
I understand the hesitation to take time out of our already cluttered schedules to what might seem like a frill, but my advice is to squeeze in a visit. It will enhance the work you do everyday in the classroom. Your students will be able to forge an experiential connection with the periods you are studying. That experiential basis convinces and inspires in a way that complements the work we do in the classroom.

Stay tuned – tomorrow we'll be sharing some of the student work that resulted from Julie Christenson's class visit.

home Resources and Services, Special Collections and Archives Mnemonics for Finals Week: Memoria Technica by Richard Grey

Mnemonics for Finals Week: Memoria Technica by Richard Grey

If the silent, studying masses in Ellis Library are any indication, MU students are working diligently to improve their memories for final memoria0002_lgexams. Of course, Special Collections is always ready to help.  This week, we’re sharing a 280-year-old secret from the Rare Book Collection on the art of making things easier to remember.

Dr. Richard Grey (1696-1771) was a clergyman in the Church of England and had imaginative theories on education.  In 1730, he published the first edition of his Memoria Technica, or, a New Method of Artificial Memory, a treatise on mnemonics partially based on Quintilian’s De oratore.  Special Collections has the third edition, “corrected and improved,” published in 1737.

Grey’s artificial memory system is based on a table that equates letters with numbers.  Best to let him explain himself:

The first Thing to be done is to learn exactly the following Series of Vowels and Consonants which are to represent the numerical Figures so as to be able at Pleasure to form a Technical Word which shall stand for any Number or to resolve a Word already form’d into the Number which it stands for.



















































In other words, once the learner had committed this table to memory, all he would have to do to remember, for instance, a date and a name, would be to replace the end of the name with the series of letters that corresponds to the date.  Grey offers up a series of historical eras to illustrate how the system works:

The Dioclesian Æra, or the Æra of martyrs [Diocleseko] 284
The Æra of the Hegira, or Flight of Mahomet [Mahomaudd] 622
The Æra of Yezdegird, or the Persian Æra [Yezsid] 632

memoria0003_lgThe words in brackets are the mnemonic devices, with the code at the end that represents the year in letters.  If a student were called upon in an exam to produce an entire chronology of world events (as students often were in the eighteenth century), he could simply remember what Grey calls the “Memorial Line”: Diocleseko Mahomaudd Yezsid.  Grey points out that the system is also adaptable to geography, astronomy, weights and measures, and the study of ancient coins.

Although Grey’s mnemonic devices may seem overly complicated to twenty-first-century memoria0004_lgreaders, his work was hugely popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  Memoria Technica remained in print for over 130 years, and was in fact the only pre-1800 book on memory to remain in use for so long.

Learn More

Richard Grey, Memoria technica, or, A new method of artificial memory : applied to, and exemplified in chronology, history, geography, astronomy … London : Printed for John Stagg … and sold by A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch … F. Clay, and D. Brown …, 1737.  The third edition, corrected and improved.
MU Special Collections Rare BF383 .G8 1737

Richard Sharp, ‘Grey, Richard (1696–1771)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/11558, accessed 12 Dec 2011]

home Events and Exhibits, Special Collections and Archives New exhibit commemorates 400 years of the King James Bible

New exhibit commemorates 400 years of the King James Bible

400 years ago, scholars from all over Britain came together and produced one of the best, most beloved, and controversial pieces of literature the world has ever seen.  The King James Bible soon became the de facto Bible for countless of evangelists, missionaries, as well as politicians, literary giants, economists, and philosophers, and lest we forget, America’s Founding Fathers.  This exhibit traces the history of the King James Bible, its precursors and the works that have been inspired by it.

Historic bibles and pages from the King James Bible will be on exhibit in the Ellis Library Colonnade through December 2011.  The exhibit is accompanied by a display of religious texts from around the world, ranging from America’s Book of Mormon to India’s Bhagavad Gita to China’s Tao Teh King.

Exhibit curated by Rebecca Vogler and Amy Jones, Special Collections assistants and SISLT graduate students

home Events and Exhibits, Special Collections and Archives New Exhibit – World War II Posters: Women Called to Action

New Exhibit – World War II Posters: Women Called to Action

As many men went abroad to serve in the war, large numbers of women were left behind.  However, women played an integral part in the WWII victory.  War posters on display from the Special Collections Department of Ellis Library illustrate how women were called upon to help win the war both at home and in foreign lands.

World War II Posters will be on display in the Ellis Library Colonnade November 3rd-December 2nd, 2011.

Exhibit curated by Karen Witt, Special Collections Reference Librarian.

The Night Hag, a Halloween Romance

Title page for The Night HagIn honor of Halloween, we're posting an excerpt from one of the horror stories in the rare book collection, The Night Hag; or, St. Swithin's Chair: A Romance, which was published in the form of a small pamphlet by J. Bailey in the early nineteenth century (the pamphlet is undated).  There are only two three copies reported in WorldCat, and Special Collections has the only reported copy of this text in the United States (2014 update: there's another copy reported in the U.S. now, at the University of Pittsburgh).

He who dares sit on St. Swithin's chair…

The star of the romance is Fergus Campbell, "a captain in the Scotch service then stationed in Edinburgh, in the reign of James the Sixth."  Fergus' aunt is the wealthy Lady Margaret Mucklethrift, and Fergus is second in line after his cousin to inherit all of her money and property.  Thirsty for riches, Fergus decides to rob his aunt of her riches and depose his cousin as her heir. After a series of failed plots, Fergus decides to seek supernatural help.

"It was now Hallow mass E'en, and Fergus thought of the ancient spell of St. Swithin's applicable to that season, that then the Night Hag, delighting in scenes of blood and murderous deeds, has full power.

He who dares sit on St. Swithin's chair,
When the Night Hag rides the troubled air,
Questions three, if they speak the spell,
They may ask, and she must tell."
Fergus sits on St. Swithin's Chair, from The Night Hag

Fergus asks his three questions and finds that he will indeed gain his aunt's incredible riches, with the Night Hag's treacherous help.  After stabbing his aunt to death, with the household on the alert, Fergus hides in her iron-clad strong box.  Will he be discovered?

No spoilers here!  Of course, there's much more to the story: an innocent man framed for murder, a pair of star-crossed lovers, and a reformed criminal with a critical decision to make.  Read more about it in Special Collections!

The Scott Connection

The end of The Night HagThis pamphlet purports to be "a romance, on which is founded the popular drama now performing with unbounded applause at Astley's Amphitheatre."  Several plays were produced under this title in the early nineteenth century, featuring Fergus Campbell, his unfortunate aunt, and the rest of the characters in the romance.  Indeed, the first of these plays was performed at Astley's Amphitheatre and ran in September and October 1820.  The playbill for this production said "The Idea from which the Subject is arranged [is] taken from the Interesting Legend of St. Swithin's Chair, in Walter Scott's Popular Novel of Waverly."

The problem? The interesting legend of St. Swithin's Chair, as far as it pertains to Fergus Campbell, isn't in Waverley.  The novel includes a poem entitled "St. Swithin's Chair", based on an old Scottish legend, but that's all.  In his 1992 catalog of playbills and scripts based on Scott's works, H. Philip Bolton notes the difficulty in relating The Night Hag to Waverley, judging the play "doubly apocryphal."

How does this pamphlet relate to the Night Hag plays of the nineteenth century?  When was it published?  And, perhaps most importantly, who was its author?

At this point, we don't know.  If you're a researcher in this area, come finish the story, and help us find out.

Bolton, H. Philip.  Scott dramatized. London ; New York : Mansell, 1992.

Adopt-A-Book News

Thanks to the generous support of donors to the Friends of the MU Libraries Adopt-A-Book program, conservator Jim Downey has been able to treat and repair a number of books from Special Collections.  Below is a sampling of before and after pictures from the latest batch of adoptees; click over to the Adopt-A-Book web site for more.  A sincere thanks to donors George Justice, H. & D. Moore, B. Winfield, M. Nagar, W. Oshinsky, P. Collins, J. Schweitzer, R. Drake and M. Correale.

A flora of North America by William P. C. Barton. Philadelphia: M. Carey & Sons, 1821-23.Ellinor: or, The world as it is: a novel by Mary Anne Hanway. London: Printed for William Lane, 1798M.T.C. Epistolae familiares accuratius recognitae. Venetiis : Apud Aldum et Andream Socerum, 1512

home Resources and Services, Special Collections and Archives Index, Imprimatur, and Banned Books Week

Index, Imprimatur, and Banned Books Week

September 24 marked the beginning of Banned Books Week, a yearly celebration of the freedom to read.  Books in Special Collections are no stranger to banning and censorship – most were subject to some form of official approval, and many were banned at some point in their history.

Censorship and the License to Print


Imprimatur in Il maritaggio delle mvse: poema drammatico by Giovanni Giacomo Ricci (Venice, 1633).
Imprimatur in Il maritaggio delle mvse: poema drammatico by Giovanni Giacomo Ricci (Venice, 1633).
The printing press presented a new set of challenges to authorities who wanted to control the spread of ideas.  In 1485, in the birthplace of printing, the archbishop of Mainz issued a censorship decree that imposed a licensing requirement on the printing of all vernacular texts.  In 1515, Pope Leo X extended that decree to all translations to and from Latin, placing such texts subject to licensing and clerical review in order to keep the faithful from falling into error.[1]

By the seventeenth century, book publication in most European countries was regulated by a licensing board made up of Church or state officials.  Fail to get a license to print, an imprimatur, and your book was effectively banned.  Legitimately printed books featured the imprimatur prominently, often on the verso of the title page.

Title page from Nucleus historiæ ecclesiasticæ by Christopher Sandius (Amsterdam, 1676), with a false imprint.
Title page from Nucleus historiæ ecclesiasticæ by Christopher Sandius (Amsterdam, 1676), with a false imprint.


Of course, books were still printed without a license – and these often included a false imprint, to make it look like they had been printed somewhere else.  Printers used this bit of subterfuge to publish texts seen as subversive, heretical, or immoral.[2]

The book on the right is a work by Christopher Sandius promoting Arian and Socinian beliefs.  It was published in Amsterdam by Christoph Petzold.   However, Petzold issued it with a false imprint identifying a publisher in Köln.  The false imprint protected Petzold, and to some extent Sandius as well, and it enabled the publication of beliefs condemned by Protestant and Catholic authorities.

The Index Librorum Prohibitorum

Underground publications like that of Sandius presented a challenge to religious and state officials: censorship wasn’t enough to keep dangerous ideas out of public circulation.  Authorities responded with outright bans of books already in print.


Title page of Philip II's edict concerning prohibted books (Antwerp, 1570)
Title page of Philip II's edict concerning prohibted books (Antwerp, 1570)
Throughout the Holy Roman Empire, the Spanish Empire, and countries ruled by Catholic monarchs, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books) provided a definitive guide for what was legal reading material, and what wasn’t.  The Index was first endorsed by Pope Pius IV in 1564 during the Council of Trent (it’s sometimes called the Tridentine Index because of this).  In 1569, with the Pope’s sanction, the Duke of Alba issued a supplement to the Index, adding more titles to the list.

Special Collections has a version of the Index accompanied by an edict issued by Philip II of Spain.  This version of the Index was released in 1570 in response to an uprising in the Netherlands, a territory Spain had recently acquired.  Issued in French, Dutch, and Latin, Philip’s Index was meant to eradicate political protest and Protestantism in the Netherlands, a goal he never achieved.  It's interesting to note that this Index was printed by the renowned Christopher Plantin.  Modern scholars have discovered that Plantin himself was involved in surreptitious printing of heretical and scientific texts.

First edition of Galileo's Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (Florence, 1632)
First edition of Galileo's Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (Florence, 1632)


The Index was updated and re-issued periodically, and authors were added or removed as opinion changed.  Galileo Galilei’s heliocentric, for example, was condemned as heretical and banned shortly after its publication in 1632; by 1758, however, works dealing with heliocentrism were removed from the Index.  Pope Paul VI abolished the Index in 1966.

Book Banning Continues

Book banning was certainly not limited to the Index, and it has been practiced in the United States for hundreds of years.  In 1650, only twelve years after the first printing in North America, Puritans in Boston held the continent’s first book burning.  In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, United States Customs and the U.S. Post Office regularly confiscated shipments of books under the auspices of anti-obscenity legislation, including James Joyce’s Ulysses, Voltaire’s Candide, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

In schools and public libraries, attempts to ban books continue.  Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been banned periodically in American schools since its publication, as have childhood favorites such as James and the Giant Peach and A Wrinkle in Time.  This summer, a high school in Republic, Missouri, drew national attention for banning Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.  For more information about current attempts to ban books, see Mapping Censorship from the Banned Books Week website.

Read More

Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change.  New York : Cambridge University Press, 1980, c1979.

Heresy and Error: The Ecclesiastical Censorship of Books, 1400-1800.  Digital exhibit, Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, 2010.

Hans J. Hillerbrand, “On Book Burnings and Book Burners: Reflections on the Power (and Powerlessness) of Ideas.”  J Am Acad Relig (September 2006) 74 (3): 593-614. doi: 10.1093/jaarel/lfj117

Joan Stack, ed., The Art of the Book: Manuscripts and Early Printing, 1000-1650.  Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri, Board of Curators, c2003.

[1] Eisenstein, 347.


[2] Later, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, printers also used false imprints to pirate popular works and turn a quick profit – but that’s another story.