Household Books Published in Britain: V2 - 1700-1800 (VM)


Entries take the form of headings, title-page entries, imprints, information following imprints, citations of bibliographies, locations of copies, other editions, notes, asterisk, and illustrations. In each of these the information is laid out in a way discussed below.


The arrangement of headings is strictly alphabetical by author's surnames or, in the case of anonymous works, by titles. Wherever the definite and indefinite articles occur as the first word of a title or descriptive name or pseudonym, they have been ignored, and the first letter of the next word has determined the alphabetical order. A work written by more than one author is listed according to the first-named author's surname. The second or other authors are listed under separate headings according to alphabetical order, with a cross-reference (or cross-references) to the first-named author. A work written under a descriptive name (e.g. A Lady) is listed as a heading (ignoring the definite or indefinite article, if present; e.g. LADY), with a cross-reference to the title. A work written under a pseudonym is listed as a heading, with a cross-reference to the title; and the same applies to a work written under initials only. A work that has been translated into English is listed as a heading under the translator's surname, with a cross-reference to the author or, if anonymous, to the title. Any work originally written anonymously, under a descriptive name, under initials or pseudonymously, but where the author's identity has been later discovered, is listed under the author's surname, and the former description is listed as a separate heading, with a cross-reference to the author. Where the Christian name of an author is not known, the surname is followed by a dash in square brackets, but where the sex is known the brackets are followed by an apt description, also in square brackets, e.g. [Mrs]. An author with a title of nobility is listed under the family surname, followed by the Christian name(s), followed by the title. The dipthongs ‘æ’ and ‘œ’ are treated as ‘e’ whenever they begin a word; and ‘Mc’ is treated as ‘Mac’ because the ‘c’ in ‘Mc’ was originally an inverted apostrophe which stood for two letters ‘ac’.

Title-page entries

In all cases the short title represents the only or earliest known edition of a work published in the eighteenth century. Well-known works, with accurate listings elsewhere, are generally shown with curtailed short titles, while lesser-known works, or works which could have been plagiarized tend to have extended short titles. Where a work has never been listed before, an extended or, if possible, a complete recording of the original title-page has been given; but, in many such cases, only the briefest of titles has been found.

Any omission or excision from the original title-page is shown by three period points (. . .), except at the end of a title, when 'etc.' is used, and any added information to the original title-page is given in square brackets, except that any descriptive name for an author appearing on an original title-page is also given in square brackets; e.g. '[by a lady]' with a cross-reference from the heading 'LADY'. Capitalization of the original title-page has not been retained, except for the first letters of proper nouns; but the original punctuation and spellings have been adhered to at all times. Where any word is spelt incorrectly it is followed by '[sic]'; but eighteenth-century spellings which were good common usage have not been given this indication. Such eighteenth-century spellings include: almanack, cosmetick, physick, publick, inlarged, inquiry, intirely, compleat, chuse (or chusing), and cyder. The word 'curious' was, of course, used to mean 'specific', 'particular', or 'minutely careful', and was not interpreted in its modern sense as meaning 'odd' or 'inquisitive'.

Title-pages in the eighteenth century acted as advertisements, and were the equivalent of modern 'blurbs' on bookjackets. Each gave not only a full resume of the contents of a book, but also tried to flatter a potential buyer with key words. The two most frequently used words in the short titles of cookery books were 'complete' and 'accomplished', and the most commonly used descriptive name was 'A Lady'. The potential buyer's thriftyness, vanity, and snobbish-ness all seem to have been flattered. Having bought a 'complete' book, and thereby saving money (which could have been spent on two or more books, in order to obtain the same amount of information), the buyer, who is certain the complete book was written for people of her ability, because it says it is for those who are 'accomplished', is doubly reassured to know that the author, like herself, is 'A Lady'.


In every instance in the catalogue, the imprint is a representation of the original, and not a reproduction of it. The place where the book was printed or published is given first; followed by the name of the printer (or printers) and then the name of the seller (or sellers), with the actual or approximate date of printing or publication in arabic numerals (even if shown in roman numerals in the original) as the last item. Where three or more sellers were given in the original, only the first three are listed. What has just been outlined is the most extensive recording of an imprint. In many cases, however, one or more items did not appear in the original, and where this occurred the maximum possible number of items have been recorded. All printers are indicated by the word 'by' on its own [printed by . . .], and all sellers can be detected by 'for' [printed for . . .] or the more obvious 'sold by' [printed . . ., and sold by . . .]. Where the place of printing or publishing was not given in the original, but the name of the printer or seller was shown, the place can often be found in Plomer/1 or Plomer/2, and where this has happened the place is shown in square brackets. Where a date was omitted on the original title-page, but has been confirmed from another source, it is given in square brackets. An approximate date follows the abbreviation 'c.' and is also given in square brackets; e.g. [c.1745]. If a book was compiled in two or more volumes or parts, and if a book was not a first edition, this information is shown before the imprint.

Information following imprints

After the imprint the remaining details about the book (as far as they have been discovered) are always given in the following order: number of pages (p.); frontispiece (frontis.); plate or plates (pl. or pls.); height to the nearest centimetre (cm.); and the price in shillings and pence (sh. d.). Elements which did not appear in the book (frontis., pl. or pls., and often price) have received no symbol to show that they are absent. A symbol, a dash in square brackets, has been allocated to both pagination and size, and its significance depends upon the order, if it only appears once. If the number of pages is missing, then the symbol appears before the size that is listed. If the size is missing, then the symbol appears after the cited number of pages. If both details are missing, the symbol appears twice.

Pagination is given according to the printer's method of numeration. Unnumbered pages have been discounted. Pages with roman numbering appear first, according to the printer's method; e.g. vi-xxi. Then follow the pages with arabic numbering, on the same system; e.g. 5-501. Breaks in numbering have not been indicated, unless the book appeared in volumes (or parts) with continuous pagination. Where a book appeared in volumes (or parts) with separate pagination for each volume (or part), this has been shown. Where a whole book lacks pagination, but the pages have been counted, the figure is given in square brackets. If the price was not printed on the original title-page, but has been confirmed by another source, it is entered with a numerical indicator to a 'Note', in which the full source is cited.

Citations of bibliographies

The bibliographies of both Bitting and Oxford are defective, but they are both still in print, and both are readily available in leading libraries for consultation. For the last two reasons they have been selected for inclusion under each work against the heading 'Cited', which is a short way of saying 'The work above is cited in . . .'. Where a dash appears against 'Cited' it indicates that neither Bitting nor Oxford included the work in their bibliographies. Where only one name appears, then it means only Bitting or only Oxford cited the work; and where both their names appear it shows that both cited the work.

Locations of copies

Giving the locations where copies of the work can be consulted is perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of the catalogue. Under each work appears the heading 'Copies', which is an abbreviation for 'Where copies of the above work can be located'. Against 'Copies' on two separate lines are the sub-heads 'BI' and 'NA', standing for 'British Isles' and 'North America'; and against each of these are the abbreviations representing the locations of libraries, up to a total of three in each case; giving a maximum of six locations for every work in the catalogue. The locations can be easily identified in 'The List of Abbreviations used for Libraries'. The maximum of six locations for every work was a target, which was only reached occasionally. If a work was a rarity, the present compiler was lucky to find one location to record; and in a minority of cases no locations could be found at all, and where that has occurred a dash appears against both 'BI' and 'NA'.

Other editions

Where any work had one or more subsequent editions, they are listed in strict chronological order after 'Copies'. Wherever possible the number or description of the edition has been given (e.g. and ed., or A new ed.), and the identity of the edition has been followed (where appropriate) by any change in the title, and then by the imprint, which has been dealt with in the same manner as those which appear after title-page entries. Any unidentified edition has been called 'another edition' and placed with the others in strict chronological order. A dash in square brackets is used to represent a missing place of publication, and also to represent the name of a missing printer or seller. After the imprint the locations are shown, with those in the British Isles (up to a maximum of three) coming before those in North America (also up to a maximum of three), with a full colon separating the latter from the former. Where no locations could be found, a dash appears each side of the colon (–:–), and a numerical indicator indicates a source under 'Notes'. Where a location (or locations) could be found only in the British Isles, a dash appears after the colon; and where a location (or locations) could be found only in North America, a dash appears before the colon.


Notes (where they occur) come after other editions, or after 'Copies' if there are no other editions. The term is self-explanatory, and under it are cited sources and any matters of interest connected with the book or its author or authors. Notes are linked to the relevant detail or details by numerical indicators.


An asterisk * (throughout this 1700-1800 short-title catalogue) indicates the library in which a book was inspected.


These are mostly of title-pages, and they have been positioned so that they face or are adjacent to the entries for the books to which they belong, rather than in chronological order. The selection has, however, been made with the purpose, among others, of showing how the content, design, and typography of title-pages evolved during the century. To follow this evolution, they should be looked at in the following order: page 120 (1710, but dating back to the seventeenth century); page 96 (1702); page 81 (1714); page 83 (1720); page 12 (1736, but dating back to the late 1720s); page 41 (1733); page 100 (1734); page xvi (1736, but the art of printing had not progressed as far in Scotland as in England!); page 110 (1746); page 58 (1747, our first example in large format); page 45 (1750); page 126 (1756); page 76 (1757); page 130 (1767); page 122 (1769); pages 53 and 80 (c.1780, and 1780); page 51 (1787, although originating a few years earlier); page 28 (1788); page 148 (1791); and page 130 (1798).