Vegetable Cookery: With an Introduction, Recommending Abstinence from Animal Food and Intoxicating Liquors is the first vegetarian cookbook, authored anonymously by Martha Brotherton (1783–1861) of Salford.

Vegetable Cookery: With an Introduction, Recommending Abstinence from Animal Food and Intoxicating Liquors
AuthorMartha Brotherton[1]
GenreCookery books
PublisherEffingham Wilson
Publication date
1812, 1833



It was the first published vegetarian cookbook.[2][3] Martha and Joseph Brotherton were leading members of William Cowherd's Bible Christian Church.[3][4]

The recipes are ovo-lacto vegetarian. Many of the recipes involve copious amounts of butter. Historians have noted that "Brotherton's book served as a guide for Americans who began to self-identify as vegetarian in the early decades of the nineteenth century."[5] Kathryn Gleadle has written that the book "was enormously important to the movement, forming the basis of most subsequent works on vegetable cookery."[6]

Publication history


It was first published as A New System of Vegetable Cookery in periodical form in 1812.[2] A second book edition appeared in 1821 and a third was published by Horatio Phillips of London in 1829 under its best known title Vegetable Cookery.[2]

The first edition was published anonymously by a "member of the Bible Christian Church".[2] The fourth edition published in 1833 by Effingham Wilson, contained 1,261 recipes and was also published anonymously "by a lady".[2] Martha's husband Joseph Brotherton wrote the introduction for the book. Two further editions appeared in 1839 and 1852.[2] The 1852 edition contains a foreword by James Simpson, the first president of the Vegetarian Society.[7]


  1. ^ Cushing, William. (1888). Initials and Pseudonyms: A Dictionary of Literary Disguises. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell. p. 180
  2. ^ a b c d e f Antrobus, Derek. (1997). A Guiltless Feast: The Salford Bible Christian Church and the Rise of the Modern Vegetarian Movement. City of Salford Education and Leisure. p. 72. ISBN 978-0901952578
  3. ^ a b Phelps, Norm. (2007). The Longest Struggle: Animal Advocacy from Pythagoras to PETA. Lantern Books. p. 149. ISBN 978-1-59056-106-5
  4. ^ Puskar-Pasewicz, Margaret. (2010). Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-313-37556-9
  5. ^ Baughman, James L; Ratner-Rosenhagen, Jennifer; Danky, James P. (2015). Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Culture of Dissent Since 1865. University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-0-299-30284-9
  6. ^ Gleadle, Kathryn. The Age of Physiological Reformers: Rethinking Gender and Domesticity in the Age of Reform. In Arthur Burns, Joanna Innes. (2003). Rethinking the Age of Reform: Britain 1780-1850. Cambridge University Press. p. 216. ISBN 0-521-82394-3
  7. ^ "Old and Vintage Cookbooks". Retrieved 14 July 2019.