Selections from Eliza Leslie

University of Nebraska Press

Selections from Eliza Leslie collects stories, recipes and other works by the nineteenth-century cookbook author and humor writer from Philadelphia. In addition to providing a biographical sketch, my introduction to the volume describes Eliza Leslie’s early career and her prominence among American women writers at her death in 1858.

Leslie established her career through writing fiction for children and collecting recipes. Soon after, she launched herself into humorous magazine fiction with the award-winning “Mrs. Washington Potts.” This tale of what-not-to-do-when-entertaining appeared in Godey’s Lady’s Book (1832), the most popular women’s magazine of the era. Leslie rose to an editorial position with Godey’s as her career progressed.

Equally important as the selections and introduction, the book provides the first bibliographical overview of Leslie’s voluminous writings. Approximately 30-pages, arranged both chronologically and alphabetically, provide titles of Leslie’s publications that appeared between 1803 and 1853.

What readers are saying about Selections from Eliza Leslie

Craig A. Meyer, Amazon reviewer

“Although having the scholarly apparatus that scholars will find incredibly useful, Leslie’s work and voice . . . shines through with power, poise, and precision. . . . And there are also delightful little nuggets of American recipes, such as “Spunge Cake” that calls for “ten ounces of sifted flour, dried near the fire”. Dried near the fire! Love it!”

- Craig A. Meyer, Amazon reviewer


“[Madden] has brought together a solid collection of Leslie’s work, creating a volume that will be of special interest to feminist historians and students of early-19th-century American literature.”

- Choice