Contemporary recipes and cooking advice
from Modern Cookery for Private People by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Natural, Audience, and Dyer, 1871. p.48.)

With the development of the making push in the 16th and 17th centuries, numerous publications were prepared on how best to manage households and make food. In Holland and Britain competition became between the respectable individuals as to who could make the absolute most extravagant banquet. By the 1660s, cookery had progressed to a skill form and good cooks were in demand. Many of them printed their particular publications describing their recipes in opposition using their rivals. Several books have already been translated and can be found online.

By the 19th century, the Victorian preoccupation for domestic respectability caused the emergence of cookery writing in their modern form. Even though eclipsed in reputation and regard by Isabella Beeton, the first contemporary cookery writer and compiler of recipes for the house was Eliza Acton. Her groundbreaking cookbook, Modern Cookery for Private Families published in 1845, was targeted at the domestic reader rather than the professional cook or chef. This is immensely powerful, establishing the structure for modern authoring cookery. It introduced the now-universal exercise of record the materials and suggested cooking times with each recipe. It included the very first recipe for Brussels sprouts. Modern cook Delia Jones named Acton “the best author of recipes in the British language.” Contemporary Cookery extended lasted Acton, remaining in print till 1914 and accessible recently in facsimile.

Acton’s work was an essential influence on Isabella Beeton, who published Mrs Beeton’s Guide of Family Management in 24 regular areas between 1857 and 1861. This is a guide to owning a Victorian home, with advice on style, kid care, animal husbandry, poisons, the management of servants, research, faith, and industrialism. Of the 1,112 pages, around 900 covered recipes. Many were explained with colored engravings. It’s said that lots of the recipes were plagiarised from earlier in the day writers such as Acton, but the Beetons never said that the book’s articles were original. It had been supposed as a reliable guide for the aspirant center classes.

The National cook Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) published in 1896 her popular perform The Boston Cooking School Cook book which covered some 1,849 recipes.