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Mastering the Art of French Cooking sells for $1,250

mastering-the-art-of-french-cookingEarlier this month AbeBooks sold the two-volume first edition set of Mastering the Art of French Cooking for $1,250. Big deal, I hear you say. Well, Mastering the Art of French Cooking is Julia Child’s most famous book. It was published in 1961 (volume one) and 1970 (volume two), and Child is once more going to re-enter the limelight thanks to the movie Julie & Julia.

Child had signed the second volume of the set sold we sold. Both volumes came with dust jackets. First editions of these famous cookbooks are rare as they have been hammered in countless kitchens.

Julie & Julia is a blog that became a book and now has become a film. In 2002, Julie Powell began blogging about her attempts to cook the 524 recipes in Child’s cookbook and that’s about it. A blog/book/movie about cooking French food.

My favourite French dish is cassoulet, which is, of course, featured in Child’s legendary cookbook.

Actually, AbeBooks has sold another very expensive cookbook this month. A first edition of Hilda’s “Where is it?” Of Recipes from 1891 sold for $1,600. The author is Hildagonda J Duckitt and it is one of the original African cookbooks. It reflects the colonial cuisines of the Boer, Dutch, British, Malaysian and Indian cultures that could be found in Africa at that time.

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Richard Davies

6 Responses to “Mastering the Art of French Cooking sells for $1,250”

  1. Greetings, After seeing the movie Julie and Julia this weekend, I checked my bookshelf to see what edition my “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One” was to surprisingly find it is a first printing of the first edition. Fortunately, I never really got into french cooking so the book hasn’t been used. I was wondering where I can find what the current value of this book would be?
    With much appreciation,


  2. Hi Laurie,

    What an exciting discovery! Please check out our Book Appraisers page (http://www.abebooks.com/docs/RareBooks/appraisers.shtml). It’s a directory of booksellers who can help you with finding out the value of your book.


  3. I wonder why my copy does not say, Volume One? My copy is the second printing in October 1961, only one month after the First Edition, first printing in August 1961. Did the authors know they would write a Volume 2????

  4. I watched the movie “julie and Julia” in foods class the other day and decided i wanted to get the book. But i really wanted a cheap one that wasn’t made in the 2000’s but i cant seem to find one. anyone no where to get one?

  5. Richard Davies

    I know this great site for cheap books – it’s called http://www.abebooks.com/

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