Eliza Acton

The Elegant Economist
  • The Elegant Economist

  • Before Mrs Beeton there was Eliza Acton, whose crisp, clear, simple style and foolproof instructions established the format for modern cookery writing, leading to her being called 'the best writer of recipes in the English language' by Delia Smith.

    Including such English classics as suet pudding, raspberry jam, lemonade and 'superlative mincemeat' as well as evocatively-named creations like 'Threadneedle Street Biscuits', 'Baron Liebig's Beef Gravy' and 'Apple Hedgehog', these recipes advocate using the best produce available to create wholesome, inexpensive dishes that are still a pleasure to cook and eat today.

Eliza Acton (1799-1860) was born in Sussex, and, apart from some time spent in France, lived for much of her life at Bordyke House in Tonbridge, where she kept house for her mother. Modern Cookery, first published in 1845, was her first cookery book and quickly gained wide acclaim for its practical, step-by-step approach. Delia Smith has called Acton 'the best writer of recipes in the English language'.

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