Glasse, Hannah

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Glasse, Hannah (1708–70) probably the best-known English cookery writer of the 18th century, owed the fame which she and her principal work (The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, 1747) acquired to a strange concatenation of factors: in part, to chance; in great part, unscrupulous plagiarism; in almost no part, to innovations in the style and organization of recipes, for which she claimed credit; and, to a small but significant extent, to her marketing abilities.

As for chance, who could have foreseen that England’s greatest lexicographer, straying unwisely into a field with which he was unfamiliar and pontificating on the matter after the lapse of a quarter of a century, would have denied her authorship of her book? (It was Dr Johnson who thus erred.) And who would have supposed that the catchphrase ‘First catch your hare’ would have become firmly attached to her book, although the words do not occur in it?