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xiii NOTE ON SOURCES FOR SCHOLARS studying nineteenth-century cookbooks, finding accurate circulation statistics is a difficult task. Between 1820 and 1850, the publishing industry grew exponentially, yet it remained largely unregulated until well after the Civil War. Improved printing technology made it possible to print books quickly and sell them cheaply, so competition and piracy were common.1 This makes it difficult to get an accurate picture of publication and circulation patterns. The same text could be printed under multiple covers by several printing houses. Because books had become less expensive over time, they were also less likely to be as thoroughly cataloged and cared for as they had been in previous decades when they were a luxury possession. I have worked to include publication information and circulation numbers where possible. It is certainly important for this study that cookbooks were circulated widely enough to have an impact on American audiences. For this reason, the majority of my primary sources represent the most well-known cookbooks from each era and region under examination, and I have placed them alongside other print sources such as periodicals that demonstrate similar rhetorical patterns. Reading cookbooks in this way does not permit us to understand how readers received or used their content. It can, however, demonstrate not only that they engaged contemporary discourses of taste but also how women writers perceived the rhetorical potential of the published cookbook. TASTEFUL DOMESTICITY ...


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