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Eva Coydon

The German Feminin Authors of Cookbooks (1800 to 1914)

Le Temps des médias n° 24, Printemps-Été 2015, p. 117-130.

DrapeauFrancais

Since the first cookbooks’ issues in the German space, women act as authors and their proportion is growing significantly during the 19th century. In combination with the social empowerment of the bourgeoisie, in particular in the cities, the ideal image of the family arises assigning women the responsibility of the private sphere. This is especially reflected in cookbooks and guidebooks for housekeeping. Most of these books are written by women for a female public. They include a certain conception of bourgeois cuisine : it should be creative and tasty as well as economic and healthy which leads to a more and more intensive cooperation between authors, physicians, nutritionists and the rising alimentary industry. Female authors prevail from the second half of the 19th century in the German market of cookbooks and have often an important impact in the success of publishers. Most of these female authors are involved in other social activities and contribute to the professionalisation of women by establishing cooking and housekeeping schools. The distribution of translations and publications of their works in other countries highlights their reputation.

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