The second infilled, The English huswife
. STC (2nded.) / 17342.
If I thought so my Lord, we would not doe Such precious work for nothing; we would be Much better huswifes
, and compound for shares O'th' gardeners profit.
However, what makes this collection not only informative but hugely enjoyable are the depictions of the women themselves: the imaginative 'Lucy' who wished to eat 'boyled capon with silver scrues'; 'Fair Winifright, and Bridget bright' who were treated like slaves; the women who, as they pawned their petticoats and prostituted themselves, were 'creatures soone vp, & soone downe'; Marie Perman who 'showes her arsse'; and, finally, the 'Spinsters [...] [and] Huswifes
' described by Margaret Cavendish who sat on 'Cold Winter Nights' spinning their 'flax', weaving their 'Web', and--of course--singing 'ballads' (pp.
Contrasted with the "Mountain Huswifes
" of old are "our Modern Dames / (Affected Nymphs with new Affected Names)" (8-9).
The Good Huswifes
Handmaide for the Kitchen, first published in 1588, offers a good idea of the type of pie Shakespeare is referring to here.
In his book The good huswifes
Jewell, Thomas Dawson writes of sugar, spices, and confits, but it is the coming of the "soteltie," or subtlety, which gives them power to transform.
(74.) Thomas Dawson, The good huswifes
Iewell (1587), 26-27.