Cakes, Christmas, Bake Off and Mrs Beeton: a select bibliography of cookery books in the National Art Library

During the festive season and following yet another successful series of The Great British Bake Off, you can continue to explore some of the baking and cookery treats served up, here at the National Art Library.

Episode seven of this series of Great British Bake Off was Victorian week and saw the bakers attempting recipes popular in the 19th century.  Featured was the National Art Library’s copies of Mrs Beeton’s The Book of Household Management. Within it’s over 1,000 pages are 900 recipes to entice both food historians and cooking enthusiasts.

However Mrs Beeton’s isn’t the only book of culinary interest in the NAL collections. From the 17th century onwards, the Library holds either originals or reprints of books of mainly English, French and German cookery books ranging from histories, bibliographies, recipe books, trade publications and examples of food as artistic inspiration.  Both food and cooking have long been seen not just as necessities but as signifiers of pleasure, giving, creativity and entertainment.

As we move into the festive season and you are interested in trying something different from the usual fare, below is a select list of titles from the NAL collection, to either excite the eye or tempt the tastebuds. Please visit the National Art Library pages on the V&A website for further information about visiting us and exploring our collections further.

McDougall's Christmas Cheer 1935

Cover of McDougall’s Flour Christmas Cheer recipe book, 1935 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Selected publications from the National Art Library’s collections

The book of household management : comprising information for the mistress, housekeepers, cook, kitchen-maid, butler, footman, coachman, valet, upper and under-maids, lady’s maid, maid-of-all-work, laundry-maid, nurse and nurse-maid, monthly, wet, and sick nurses, etc. etc. : also, sanitary, medical, & legal memoranda; with a history of the origin, properties, and uses of all things connected with home life and comfort

Author: Beeton, Mrs. (Isabella Mary), Beeton, Samuel Orchart, Hine, Henry George, Woods, Henry N.

London : S. O. Beeton, 1861. (London : Cox and Wyman) 1861.

Special Collections

Pressmark:  SA.99.0014

A short-title catalogue of household and cookery books published in the English tongue, 1701-1800  

Author: Maclean, Virginia.

London : Prospect Books, 1981.

General Collection

Pressmark: NC.92.1267

Cook for victory

Name: Harrods Ltd., Heaton, Nell

London : The Firm, [194-?].

Special Collections

Pressmark: SC.92.0038

Cookery and domestic economy for young housewives : including servants

Edinburgh : William and Robert Chambers

Pressmark: 501.D.12

Cookery Domestic Economy (1845)

Recipes from Cookery and Domestic Economy (1845) © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Good things in England : a practical cookery book for everyday use ; containing traditional and regional recipes suited to modern tastes contributed by English men and women between 1399 and 1932

Name: White, Florence

London : Persephone Books, 1999

Special Collections

Pressmark: 801.AA.0012

Mark’s little book about Kinder Eggs

Name: Pawson, Mark.

London : Mark Pawson, [1989].

General Collection



The complete hostess

Name: Quaglino, Giovanni., Graves, Charles Patrick Ranke, Zinkeisen, Anna Katrina.

London : Hamish Hamilton,

Special Collections

Pressmark: S890290

Contemporary cookery : Vogue receipts 1945-1947

Name: Toye, Doris Lytton, Forbes, Evelyn, Minton, John, Welch, Denton., Vogue.

London : Conde-Nast, 1947

Special Collections

Pressmark: S890165

The futurist cookbook

Name: Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso,

San Francisco : Bedford Arts, c1989.

General Collection

Pressmark: 501.P.3

McDougall’s Christmas cheer, 1935 : [icing and decorating cakes].

Name: McDougall’s Ltd.

London : s.n., [1935].

General Collection

Pressmark: 47.Z.1039

One hundred recipes for the chafing dish

Name: Kinsley, H. M. (Herbert M.)

New York : Gorham Manufacturing Company, c1894.

General Collection

Pressmark: 503.A.156

Romary’s party book

Name: Boulestin, X. Marcel (Xavier Marcel), Romary, A., & Co., Ltd., Tunbridge Wells, England. Tunbridge Wells : Romary, [1938]

Trade Catalogues

Pressmark: TC.K.0036

Romary's Party Book (1938)

Recipes from Romary’s Party Book (1938) © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Wild raspberries

Name: Warhol, Andy, Frankfurt, Suzie.

New York : Seymour Berlin, 1959.

Special Collections

Pressmark: 95 Drawer 3

A short-title catalogue of household and cookery books published in the English tongue, 1701-1800

Name: Maclean, Virginia.

London : Prospect Books, 1981.

General Collection