The Lady's Assistant for Regulating and Supplying her Table, Being a Complete System of Cookery, Containing One Hundred and Fifty select Bills of Fare, properly disposed for Family Dinners of Five Dishes, to Two Courses of Eleven and Fifteen; With Upwards of Fifty Bills of Fare for Suppers from Five Dishes to Nineteen; and Several Deserts; Including Likewise the fullest and choicest Receipts of various Kinds, with Full Directions For preparing them in the most approved Manner, from which a continual Change may be made as wanted in the several Bills of Fare. Published from the Manuscript Collection of Mrs. Charlotte Mason, a Professed Housekeeper who had upwards of Thirty Years Experience in Families of the first Fashion. - Charlotte Mason 1777 - J. Walter, London - Third Edition ‘Mrs Mason's lucidly composed English makes her delightful recipes as easy to follow today as they were in the eighteenth century, enabling the adventurous modern cook to re-create the extraordinary food of the Age of George III without a great deal of difficulty. Her fascinating bills of fare are invaluable to historians of food and dining for the insight they afford into the mores of Georgian table service.'

An important but much neglected eighteenth century cookery book. Unusually, the table settings show layouts for more ordinary households as well as affluent ones, and the recipes follow this pattern.

A particularly clean copy, scarce in the early editions (only five existing copies of the first and second edition are recorded).
  In the first edition of 1773, the book's author was described as 'a professed housekeeper, who had upwards of thirty years experience of families of the first fashion.' She was eventually identified in the second edition of 1775 as a Mrs. Charlotte Mason. Unfortunately, the families who employed this lady were not named and there are no other useful clues in the book concerning the details of her career, nor in any of the subsequent editions. Mrs. Mason remains a mysterious and elusive figure.’ - Ivan Day, Food Historian, from his introduction to the 2011 reprint of the 8th edition.

References: Pennell,
My Cookery Books 161. Bitting, Gastronomic Bibliography 313. Cagle, A Matter of Taste 861. Vicaire, Bibliographie Gastronomique 572 [Although incorrectly as Sarah not Charlotte]. Maclean, Household and Cookery Books 95. Pennell, My Cookery Books 161. Simon, Bibliotheca Gastronomica 1013.
8vo. (20 x 12.5 cm) pp. [iv] 436 [22].
  Bound in recent speckled half calf over marbled boards, preserving original burgundy morocco spine label. New endpapers.   Condition: A near fine copy, one or two minor and faint finger marks and foxing to edges of several pages, in fine binding.   Ref: 104652   Price: HK$ 8,000