Working primarily as a chef, Thomas J. Murrey (b. mid-19th century) was hotel caterer for the Astor House in New York, the Continental Hotel in Philadelphia, and other prestigious establishments; he was, however, also a highly enterprising food writer, who, between about 1885 and the early 1890s, produced ten highly popular single-subject titles. These attractive little books, 4 x 6 inches, appeared in a variety of bindings, but the most common design was a trim three-piece paper-over-boards, each with an appealing picture on the cover relating to the subject of that volume.
Murrey’s ten titles were as follows: Breakfast Dainties, 50 Salads, The Book of Entrées, Practical Carving, Luncheon, Cookery for Invalids, 50 Soups, Oysters and Fish, Cooking with a Chafing Dish, and Valuable Cooking Recipes. We’re pleased to have found several of these to offer.
This is an 1887 first edition in very good condition. Light color fading on front, as well as a small bare patch on the lower left front, probably the result of a label removal. Over-all, a nice copy. Detailed instruction for beef, mutton/lamb, veal, pork, poultry and game, and fish. We were charmed by the book’s opening sentence: “In the Stone Age, when the savage tried his best to carve with a dull, stone knife, he undoubtedly swore mentally….” Bookplate on front paste-down: “Waldo Lincoln Collection of American Cookery-Books, presented to the American Antiquarian Society… September 30, 1929.” This was probably a duplicate in the collection.