Eighteenth-century women's cookbooks: Authors and copyright

Date
8/30/2017
Authors
Underwood, Ranae
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Abstract

Women-authored cookbooks from the eighteenth century exemplify the economic ethos of the time: commodification of knowledge and ownership of intellectual property. Despite this, little research has been done on early copyright law and cookbooks. This thesis examines the increase in value of women’s knowledge by, first, establishing an enumerated bibliography of women-authored cookbooks first published between 1745 and 1800, and, second, analysing the title pages of the texts. Due to the subject of this thesis, this thesis is interdisciplinary, with a grounding in bibliography and feminist rhetorical studies. An analysis of the data reveals that texts published outside of London were more likely to have authors retain the copyright for the first edition than texts published in London, suggesting that community practices impacted what rights women had to property while living under coverture.

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Keywords
Women's studies, Intellectual property, British and Irish literature, Language, literature, and linguistics, Social sciences, Authors, Bibliography, Book history, Cookbooks, Copyright history
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