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'Mainly for Nurses and Bachelor Girls Cookery Book' by M P Shepherd

Made
Cookery book, 'Mainly for Nurses and Bachelor Girls', M.P. Shepherd, Australia, [1920-1930].
Softcover cookery book bound in blue card with blue cord through two holes. It contains 128 pages of single-sided printed text, black and white printed photographs, title page, forward, frontispiece and index. The title is embossed on the front cover and the owner's signature is inscribed in black pen on the side of the front cover and title page.

The book consists primarily of breakfast, lunch, …

Summary

Object No.

2000/77/4

Object Statement

Cookbook and card, 'Mainly for Nurses and Bachelor Girls', paper / textile, M P Shepherd, Australia, 1920-1930

Physical Description

Cookery book, 'Mainly for Nurses and Bachelor Girls', M.P. Shepherd, Australia, [1920-1930].
Softcover cookery book bound in blue card with blue cord through two holes. It contains 128 pages of single-sided printed text, black and white printed photographs, title page, forward, frontispiece and index. The title is embossed on the front cover and the owner's signature is inscribed in black pen on the side of the front cover and title page.

The book consists primarily of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert recipes. There are several illustrations throughout accompanied by aphorisms from people such as George Bernard Shaw. At the end are several menu suggestions for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner.

An introductory page describes the compiler M.P. Shepherd as cookery teacher and lists the hospitals and institutions she/he has worked in throughout Sydney and NSW. A second page describes the purpose of the book as educating nurses and young single women 'bachelor girls' in the practicalities of cooking. There are no publishing details.

Recipe for cheese and walnut loaf on cardboard inserted in cookery book.

Production

Notes

The book was compiled by M. P. Shepherd who taught cooking in several hospitals and convalescent institutions throughout New South Wales.


The date refers to the date of publication

History

Notes

This is one of many thematic cookery books that were published from the 1920s. It is directed at nurses and compiled by a cooking teacher with extensive hospital experience. But this book seems less concerned with catering for the sick and convalescing than in teaching young single working women living away from home the practicalities of cookery. Few recipes mention cooking for sick people.

The occurrence of 'bachelor girls', young single women earning enough money to support themselves away from the family home, was still quite new in the 1920s. This book was therefore targeting a modern phenomenon and demographic. Because trained nurses frequently gave up paid employment upon marriage, a large proportion of this group were by definition also, 'bachelor girls'.

The implication in the introductory notes is that these young women were both unschooled in the prerequisites of self-sufficiency and the future duties of the housewife, and were somewhat carefree and irresponsible. Nurses are described as 'notoriously poor' cooks while 'bachelor girls' could not 'be bothered' cooking. The book then was aimed to redressing this.

It is unclear whether Cliffina Thersey O'Brien was ever a 'bachelor girl' before she married Jack Rathborne. The Paddington address that appears in her 1920s autograph book is listed in Sands Directory as the home of Mrs Georgina O'Brien, probably Cliffina's mother. However, according to a long-time friend, Rhoda Farrell, she did study cooking at Technical College and went on to teach cookery herself. This book may have been acquired in the course of studying or teaching.
The cookery book was owned by C. O'Brien.

Source

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs Cliffina Rathborne, 2000

Acquisition Date

20 June 2000

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Mainly for Nurses and Bachelor Girls Cookery Book' by M P Shepherd 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 28 November 2022, <https://ma.as/9487>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/9487 |title='Mainly for Nurses and Bachelor Girls Cookery Book' by M P Shepherd |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=28 November 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

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