Mrs Manders’ Cookbook
by Olga Sarah Manders
Edited by Rumer Godden
Decorations by David Knight
Macmillan, 1968, [First Edition] black and white line drawings in text, illustrated frontispiece, hardcover
Very Good Condition, some edge and shelf wear with some rubbing, bumping and wear to edges, corners, spine and covers, some markings to covers, no inscriptions (see photographs)
“Mrs. Manders came of age when English society was still very “Upstairs, Downstairs”. She began her professional career as fourth housemaid, then a scullery maid and finally a kitchen maid. To broaden her professional horizons, she studied at Marshall’s School of Cookery, serving as an apprentice and then a cook.
Mrs. Manders was quite a fine cook and she quickly began working for a posh crowd. She was cook to Sir Anthony Eden, considered by most to be the worst British Prime Ministers of the twentieth century. She also worked for two famous writers, Sheila Kaye- Smith and Rumer Godden. "Godden" is a rather a common name in Sussex and Joanna Godden was the title of Kaye-Smith’s most famous novel, though she never met Rumer. Mrs. Manders was at Shelia Kaye-Smith’s side when she died. In a moment of kismet, Godden bought Shelia Kaye-Smith's house.
Mrs. Manders became Godden’s cook. During turn of bad luck, the house burned to the ground and Godden spent a year homeless and camping out in wide array of furnished rentals, Mrs. Manders followed, cooking in unfamiliar surroundings with a hodge-podge of utensils and china.
“You should write a book,” Godden told Mrs. Manders.
“Me write a book?”
“I’ll buy you a fountain pen.”
“But, what sort of book is it.”
“A cookbook, of course.”
For a party, Mrs. Manders created a dessert called “Fraises à la Rumer". Godden wrote,
“I felt a little embarrassed at having such a confection called after me, but Mrs. Manders loves really to “go to town” when there is any kind of party. I always felt it would be a wonderful thing to have a rose called after me, but perhaps this-–dare I call it a pudding?—is better.”