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WoW Blog (Woman of the Week) Blog

WoW Blog (Woman of the Week)

Each week this blog will feature a prominent woman who made significant contributions to engineering or science. If you have any women you'd like us to feature please let us know and we'll do our best to include them.

Do you know of a great woman in engineering that should be recognized? Let us know! Submit a few paragraphs about that person and we'll add her to the blog. Please provide a citation for the material that you submit so that we can verify it. Please note - it has to be original material. We cannot publish copywritten material or bulk text taken from books or other sites (including Wikipedia).

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Woman of the Week – Hannah Glasse

Posted July 10, 2018 10:58 AM by lmno24

Hannah Glasse had a tough go at life. However, it may come as some solace that her cooking and kitchen tips have stood the test of time.

She penned what may have been the world’s first viral cookbook, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. She was also dubbed the “mother of the modern dinner party.”

She was born on March 28, 1708, in St. Andrews, Holborn, London. Her mother is rumored to have been Hannah Reynolds, a widow. Her father, Isaac Allgood, was a landowner who was married to another woman.

She was raised in Allgood’s home, but was often treated as an unwelcome presence. Despite that treatment, she witnessed the finer things and got a taste for fine food and drink, as her father was wealthy. In 1725, her father and his wife died of an illness when Glasse was only 16.

She went on to marry John Glasse, a soldier of fortune, and they had ten children together, though only five survived.

Source: Google

With a growing family, she needed to find a way to bring in extra money. She got to work on a cookbook about simple recipes that impressed.

It was written in a conversational style and was a quick bestseller. Most cookbooks published prior were written for royals and aristocrats. Her book was for anyone. It included 972 recipes ranging in every course, holiday or special situation.

But with all its initial success, the cookbook was not credited to her as she only signed it, “By a Lady.” She saw great success with the first publication for the book, but it was short lived. Later in 1747 her husband died, and she set herself up as a dressmaker alongside her eldest daughter Margaret to have multiple ways to keep the family afloat.

Glasse declared bankruptcy seven years after the book was released. She was forced to auction the copyright. She was reportedly put into a debtor’s prison for several months in 1757.

Historians claimed that she plagiarized as many as 263 of the dishes from an earlier source. While each recipe wasn’t an original, the writing style and mass appeal were. It was intended as a guide to “improve the servants and save the ladies a great deal of trouble.”

After paying her debt, she wrote two more books, the Servants' Directory and the Compleat (sic) Confectioner, neither of which saw the popularity of her first.

At 62, she died, with only two of her five children left alive. Most recently, she was featured as a Google Doodle in March. The book shows her making Yorkshire pudding and commemorated the 310th anniversary of the book. Her book was the first on record to have a recipe for the popular British dish.


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Re: Woman of the Week – Hannah Glasse

07/11/2018 8:23 AM

I seem to remember a bit on "Mysteries at the museum" about a controversy of who invented Yorkshire pudding. As I recall it was a toss up on who really invented it. But as You point out Hanna Glasse was the first to put the recipe in a book.



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Re: Woman of the Week – Hannah Glasse

07/11/2018 9:57 AM

Maybe the moderator that wrote this, " story " can clear up a few things, first.

A. Who was Hanna Reynolds married to ?

B. Was she also a surrogate baby ?

C. Born out of wedlock, how did she became an inhabitant of Issac Algood's home ?

D. Where did the, " another woman " live and what was her name ?

E. What became of Hannah Reynolds ?

F. Was her last name ( before marriage ) Allgood or Reynolds ?

G. What became of the wealthy of Allgood's ?

H. If her father died when she was 16, how did her name become Glasse, before she was married ?

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