authors of centuries past stealing,
er, “borrowing” from others’ works.
Yep, plagiarism ran rampant. Well,
I’ve discovered yet another example.
Dr. William Kitchiner’s (1775-1827)
lovely Wow Wow Sauce, as seen in
the first episode of “The Supersizers
Go Regency” videos, is also in The Cook’s
Own Book, by A Boston Housekeeper
(aka Mrs. N.K.M. Lee), which was published in 1832 in Boston, MA.
However, all is not quite as bad as it seems. Although the receipt
(or any others, for that matter) is not attributed to Dr. Kitchiner
specifically, his book was given a general credit on the book’s
title page. There we find the following:
The Cook’s Own Book:
Being a Complete
Comprehending All Valuable Receipts
for Cooking Meat, Fish, and Fowl,
and Composing every Kind of
Soup, Gravy, Pastry, Preserves, Essences, &c.
That Have Been Published or Invented
During the Last Twenty Years.
Particularly the Very Best of Those in the
Cook’s Oracle, Cook’s Dictionary….
Aha! Our “Boston Housekeeper” tells us that she indeed took
from other works, and thus created this compilation of receipts.
Finally, kinda, sorta, an honest author. HUZZAH!
But wait, there’s more. At the end of her Preface, the author
added this note:
The articles which follow, on Roasting, Boiling, &c.
are selected from the Cook’s Oracle.
I suppose, one way to look at such borrowing, particularly in this
case, is that Kitchiner’s work is worth repeating, so it deserves
to be copied. And although he’s not mentioned by name, at least
his book is. I suppose, too, that since The Cook’s Own Book is
meant to be a “complete culinary encyclopedia,” it’s only natural
that material from other sources be included. Still…what else
was used that ISN’T attributed? In the end, I guess “Cook’s”
gets an “A” for effort, but it could’ve done more.
Speaking of Kitchiner, for an excellent biography, I highly recommend
Dr. William Kitchiner, Regency Eccentric, Author of The Cook’s Oracle,
written by Tom Bridge and Colin Cooper English, that was published
by England’s Southover Press in 1992.