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The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened   By: (1603-1665)

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First Page:

Transcribers note: Original spellings, including inconsistencies, left in this e text.

[Illustration: Sir Kenelm Digby Knight. After the Painting by Sir Anthony Vandyke in His Majesty's Collection at Windsor Castle]

THE CLOSET OF SIR KENELM DIGBY KNIGHT OPENED:

NEWLY EDITED, WITH INTRODUCTION, NOTES, AND GLOSSARY, BY ANNE MACDONELL

LONDON: PHILIP LEE WARNER 38 ALBEMARLE STREET, W. 1910

The design on the front binding of this volume reproduces a contemporary Binding (possibly by le Gascon?) from the library of the Author, whose arms it embodies.

CONTENTS

PAGE

INTRODUCTION ix

THE CLOSET OF SIR KENELM DIGBY OPENED: TITLE PAGE OF THE FIRST EDITION 1 TO THE READER 3 RECEIPTS FOR MEAD, METHEGLIN, AND OTHER DRINKS 5 COOKERY RECEIPTS 111 THE TABLE 263

APPENDIX I. SOME ADDITIONAL RECEIPTS 271 II. THE POWDER OF SYMPATHY 272 III. LIST OF THE HERBS, FLOWERS, &C., REFERRED TO IN THE TEXT 274

NOTES 277

GLOSSARY 283

INDEX OF RECEIPTS 287

The frontispiece is a reproduction in photogravure after the portrait of Sir Kenelm Digby by Sir Anthony Vandyke in His Majesty's Collection at Windsor Castle, by permission.

INTRODUCTION

With the waning of Sir Kenelm Digby's philosophic reputation his name has not become obscure. It stands, vaguely perhaps, but permanently, for something versatile and brilliant and romantic. He remains a perpetual type of the hero of romance, the double hero, in the field of action and the realm of the spirit. Had he lived in an earlier age he would now be a mythological personage; and even without the looming exaggeration and glamour of myth he still imposes. The men of to day seem all of little stature, and less consequence, beside the gigantic creature who made his way with equal address and audacity in courts and councils, laboratories and ladies' bowers.

So when, in a seventeenth century bookseller's advertisement, I lighted on a reference to the curious compilation of receipts entitled The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Opened , having the usual idea of him as a great gentleman, romantic Royalist, and somewhat out of date philosopher, I was enough astonished at seeing his name attached to what seemed to me, in my ignorance, outside even his wide fields of interest, to hunt for the book without delay, examine its contents, and inquire as to its authenticity. Of course I found it was not unknown. Though the Dictionary of National Biography omits any reference to it, and its name does not occur in Mr. Carew Hazlitt's Old Cookery Books , Dr. Murray quotes it in his great Dictionary, and it is mentioned and discussed in The Life of Digby by One of his Descendants . But Mr. Longueville treats it therein with too scant deference. One of a large and interesting series of contemporary books of the kind, its own individual interest is not small; and I commend it with confidence to students of seventeenth century domestic manners. To apologise for it, to treat it as if it were some freak, some unowned sin of Digby's, would be the greatest mistake. On the contrary, its connection with his life and career is of the closest; and I make bold to assert that of all his works, with the doubtful exception of his Memoirs , it is the one best worth reprinting. It is in no spirit of irony that I say of him who in his own day was looked on almost as Bacon's equal, who was the friend of Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Harvey, Ben Jonson, Cromwell, and all the great spirits of his time, the intimate of kings, and the special friend of queens, that his memory should be revived for his skill in making drinks, and his interest in his own and other folks' kitchens... Continue reading book >>




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