History of the Knight Family Cookbook
The Knight Family Cookbook was not part of the existing Knight collection of books. Mysteriously, The Knight Family Cookbook was removed from Chawton House, and latterly rediscovered and purchased by the Bosack-Kruger Foundation for £15,000.
The Foundation subsequently donated The Knight Family Cookbook to Chawton House Library in 2003 where it remains today.
The original The Knight Family Cookbook has an annotation in the fly leaf, "This book I bought from Chawton and gave to my sister Mrs. J. Knight, on whose death, it was returned - TK 1793 " (Thomas Knight). The Cookbook also contains the bookplate of Montagu George Knight of Chawton, followed by the words, " Jane Austen's recipe book written by herself ", written in pencil. As yet no-one to has given this any credence to this claim.
Did Jane Austen write the Cookbook?
From reading the cookbook, it is unlikely that Jane Austen contributed to the cookbook as it is evident that there are two distinctly different handwriting styles in the cookbook. Academic scholars have also confirmed this through their examination of the cookbook.
Although the Jane Austen Detectives believe Jane did not write the Cookbook, it is however likely that she would have sampled some of these family recipes whilst visiting Chawton House which may link her to the cookbook.
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