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An English Victorian-era "celebrity chef" Alexis Soyer''s "The Modern Housewife" was a best-seller in its time. Aimed a women of the aspiring middle class, it was not simple a book of recipes, but rather a cookbook designed as an epistolary novel. Soyer created fictional characters, Hortence B. and Eloise L., who stood for the values of the era: Hortence was the efficient mistress of a smoothly-run, middle class household, while Eloise was ineffectual and sought Hortence''s assistance. Through this conceit, Soyer does manage to include hundreds of recipes that were designed to meet the varying incomes and needs of the multi-faceted, English middle class. This 1850 volume is "Edited by an American Housekeeper," and adapts Soyer''s recipes to an American audience, without losing any of the design or tone of the original.