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Picture Victorian England, a young immature young girl torn from her family at the tender age of 13 and apprenticed to a confectioner. She never lived at home again.

Mildred Elizabeth Hall was born near Preston, Lancashire, in 1882. Mildred, or Min to her family and friends, was born into a large family, the seventh of thirteen children. Twelve of the children were girls. It wasn’t a question of waiting for a boy to arrive, since son John was born the year before Mildred.

Her indenture document makes interesting reading and much of this is reproduced in this book. A small extract is quoted here: ‘Mildred Elizabeth Hall, daughter of the said John Hall of the second part and Ann Standing of Preston, Confectioner of the third part witnesseth that the said Mildred Elizabeth Hall of her own free will and with the consent of the said John Hall, testified by his execution hereof doth first place and bind herself an apprentice to the said Ann Standing with her to continue and serve and be by her taught and instructed in the trade and business of a confectioner which the said Ann Standing now follows for the term of three years.’

Min benefitted from a headmaster father and was fairly well educated, she wrote with a clear hand. The three recipe books she filled still exist and the first one is faithfully reproduced here. It is itself a little piece of social history which the authors thoroughly enjoyed compiling and are happy to share. Join us in the pursuit of Love cake, Ensign cake, Tennis cake and help to solve some of the mysteries. What on earth is Cilion cake and what is cilion? Also you can learn just how much of the cake mixture to weigh off to make a one penny cake.


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