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A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling (1726) [and] Pudding and Dumpling Burnt to Pot. Or a Compleat Key to the Dissertation on Dumpling (1727)   By: (1687?-1743)

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Henry Carey’s works, "A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling" (1726) and "Pudding and Dumpling Burnt to Pot. Or a Compleat Key to the Dissertation on Dumpling" (1727), provide a delightful exploration of the history, significance, and preparation of dumplings. While the titles may seem peculiar at first, the content within these two pieces is a treasure trove for food enthusiasts and historians alike.

In "A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling," Carey takes readers on a fascinating journey into the origins of dumplings, tracing their history back to ancient times. He draws upon various cultural traditions, highlighting the diverse ways dumplings have been prepared and enjoyed throughout the ages. Furthermore, Carey's keen observations and sharp wit infuse the narrative with a pleasant charm, making it an engaging read from start to finish.

The companion piece, "Pudding and Dumpling Burnt to Pot," serves as a companion guide to Carey's previous work. This comprehensive key not only augments the knowledge gained from "A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling," but also provides practical advice on cooking and perfecting these delectable treats. From tips on dough consistency to suggestions for innovative fillings, Carey leaves no stone unturned in his pursuit of culinary mastery.

One of the most commendable aspects of Carey's writing is his ability to seamlessly blend history and entertainment. He effortlessly incorporates anecdotes and historical references, making the subject matter informative without ever becoming dry or tedious. This unique approach not only captivates readers but also allows them to appreciate the significance of this seemingly humble dish in different cultures.

Moreover, Carey's enthusiasm for his subject matter is palpable throughout both works. His unabashed love for dumplings is infectious, leaving readers yearning to experiment with various recipes and techniques. The inclusion of detailed recipes, accompanied by vivid descriptions, ensures that readers leave these works armed with the tools necessary to recreate these delicious morsels in their own kitchens.

However, one minor point of criticism arises from the fact that some of the language used in these texts may be inaccessible to modern-day readers. While the archaic vocabulary and phrasing maintain the authenticity of the historical context, it does occasionally create a barrier to understanding for those unaccustomed to such language. Nevertheless, this should not deter anyone from delving into Carey's culinary exploration, as a quick reference to a dictionary or online resource can easily bridge this gap.

In conclusion, Henry Carey's "A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling" and "Pudding and Dumpling Burnt to Pot" are invaluable resources for anyone interested in the history and art of dumplings. Carey's expertise and passion shine through in his writing, making these works a joy to read. Whether you're a devoted foodie or a history enthusiast, these books are sure to both educate and entertain as they immerse you in the world of dumplings.

First Page:

The Augustan Reprint Society

A Learned Dissertation on DUMPLING (Anonymous) (1726)


Introduction by SAMUEL L. MACEY

Publication Number 140 WILLIAM ANDREWS CLARK MEMORIAL LIBRARY University of California, Los Angeles



William E. Conway, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles


David S. Rodes, University of California, Los Angeles


Richard C. Boys, University of Michigan James L. Clifford, Columbia University Ralph Cohen, University of Virginia Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago Louis A. Landa, Princeton University Earl Miner, University of California, Los Angeles Samuel H... Continue reading book >>

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