In between prepping chip carving books, I gave my brain a break and picked up a little book I had briefly introduced and discussed a while back:
A bit of research into Ms. Howland turned up a surprising connection, the sort of connection which makes collecting books as rewarding as it has always been for me, to wit: Ms. Esther Allen Howland's daughter, also named Esther, is known as
Esther Howland (the younger) was born in Plymouth County, Massachusetts in 1801 and married Southworth Allen Howland in 1823. Notably, The N.E. Economical Housekeeper is "Entered According to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by S. A. Howland...". Southworth Howland was a direct descendant of John Howland, one of the original Pilgrims. Southworth owned and operated a successful publishing enterprise in Worcester, Massachusetts along with a large bookstore and stationers shop.
He published Esther's cookbook for approximately 10 years, a sure indication of the acclaim and acceptance it found in the kitchens of the day. It's a fairly difficult book to find today in acceptable condition largely due to the fact that it was a heavily used kitchen book! My copy has penciled in notes, recipes and pinned in recipes from newspapers. Although other cookbook authors published more expansive volumes during this time period, I suspect the convenience and friendliness of The Housekeeper was responsible for it's success. Not to mention a built-in marketing service.
A number of online references confuse the two Esthers, yet another reason it's not a good idea to rely on online references without conducting some serious factual cross-checking.
Till next, Gary