Modern recipes and preparing advice
from Modern Cookery for Private Individuals by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Natural, Reader, and Dyer, 1871. p.48.)

With the development of the printing press in the 16th and 17th ages, numerous books were published on how best to handle families and make food. In Holland and England competition became involving the respectable families concerning who could make probably the most lavish banquet. By the 1660s, cookery had evolved to an art variety and good chefs were in demand. Many printed their particular books outlining their recipes in opposition making use of their rivals. Many of these publications have now been translated and can be found online.

By the 19th century, the Victorian preoccupation for domestic respectability caused the emergence of cookery writing in its modern form. Even though eclipsed in recognition and regard by Isabella Beeton, the initial contemporary cookery writer and compiler of recipes for your home was Eliza Acton. Her groundbreaking cook book, Modern Cookery for Personal Individuals published in 1845, was targeted at the domestic audience rather than the qualified cook or chef. This is hugely influential, establishing the structure for modern writing about cookery. It introduced the now-universal practice of list the ingredients and recommended cooking instances with each recipe. It included the first formula for Brussels sprouts. Modern chef Delia Smith called Acton “the best author of recipes in the British language.” Modern Cookery extended lasted Acton, remaining in publications till 1914 and available recently in facsimile.

Acton’s work was a significant influence on Isabella Beeton, who published Mrs Beeton’s Book of Home Administration in 24 regular components between 1857 and 1861. This was a guide to managing a Victorian household, with advice on style, child treatment, pet husbandry, poisons, the management of servants, research, religion, and industrialism. Of the 1,112 pages, over 900 contained recipes. Most were highlighted with shaded engravings. It is said that most of the recipes were plagiarised from earlier writers such as Acton, nevertheless the Beetons never claimed that the book’s contents were original. It had been supposed as a trusted information for the aspirant middle classes.

The National cook Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) printed in 1896 her famous work The Boston Preparing College Cook book which included some 1,849 recipes.