Elizabeth Craig (writer)

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Cakes and Candies: How to make them – a recipe calendar written by Elizabeth Craig for 1934

Elizabeth Josephine Craig, MBE, FRSA (16 February 1883 – 7 June 1980) was a Scottish journalist, home economist and one of the most notable British writers on cookery of the twentieth century, whose career lasted some sixty years.

Early life and family[edit]

Elizabeth Craig was born in Linlithgowshire (now West Lothian, Scotland) to John Mitchell Craig (then a student of Divinity) and his wife, Catherine Anne Craig (died 3 March 1929). Elizabeth was one of eight children and her father was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland. The family lived at the Manse in Memus, Kirriemuir, Scotland.[1]

After having her engagement announced in The Times (a London newspaper) on 11 August 1919, she married American war correspondent and broadcaster Arthur Mann of Washington, D.C. (died 9 June 1973),[2] at St Martin in the Fields Church, Trafalgar Square.


Craig's writing career began in Dundee where she studied journalism.[3] She first published a cookery feature in the Daily Express in 1920, following comments from the Daily Mail's then film editor who declared she was "the only woman in Fleet Street who could cook".[4] Craig was a founding member of the International P.E.N., and at the request of the founder, Catharine Dawson Scott, attended the first meeting of the association at the Florence Restaurant in London where John Galsworthy was elected its first president[5]


Craig started to cook when she was six years old and began collecting recipes from age 12.[6] She declared that the only formal training she had in cookery was a "three months course in Dundee".[7] She began publishing cookery books after the end of World War I and proceeded through World War II and into the 1980s. She began writing in times when food was scarce and rationing was heavily relied upon, and her career ended when the majority of households had a refrigerator and an opportunity to access a much wider variety of foods: this can be observed in her writing as more diverse dishes appear in her later books.[citation needed]

Her contribution to English culinary literature comprises a very large corpus of traditional British recipes, although not only this: included are also a considerable collection of recipes from other countries which she liked to collect during visits abroad.[8]


Cookery books[edit]

  • 19?? The Woman's Journal Cookery Book
  • 19?? Elizabeth Craig's Menus for a Year
  • 19?? Elizabeth Craig's Springtime Cookery Book (The People's Friend)
  • 1923 The Stage Favourites' Cook Book
  • 1932 New Standard Cookery Illustrated
  • 1932 Cooking with Elizabeth Craig
  • 1932 The Up-to-Date Cookery Book
  • 1933 Madeira: wine, cakes and sauce (In collaboration with André L. Simon)
  • 1933 Entertaining with Elizabeth Craig
  • 1934 Cakes and Candies: How to make them (Calendar with recipes)[9]
  • 1934 The Vicomte in the Kitchen (Georges, Vicomte de Mauduit's Cookery Book; introductions by Elizabeth Craig and Frances, Countess of Warwick)[10]
  • 1934 Elizabeth Craig's Standard Recipes
  • 1934 Wine in the Kitchen
  • 1934 Elizabeth Craig's Economical Cookery
  • 1934 Elizabeth Craig's Simple Cooking
  • 1935 Elizabeth Craig's Family Cookery: a new standard economical cookery on comprehensive lines
  • 1935 Elizabeth Craig's Everyday Cooking
  • 1936 Cookery Illustrated and Household Management
  • 1936 Woman, Wine and a Saucepan
  • 1936 Bubble and Squeak
  • 1937 278 Tested Recipes
  • 1940 Cooking in War-Time
  • 1940 Cookery: a Time-Saving Cook Book
  • 1940 1500 Everyday Menus
  • 1950 Cooking for Today
  • 1952 Elizabeth Craig's Practical Cooking
  • 1953 Court Favourites; Recipes from Royal Kitchens
  • 1955 Beer and Vittels
  • 1956 The Scottish Cookery Book (see also 1980)
  • 1956 A Book of Mediterranean Food
  • 1957 Instructions to Young Cooks
  • 1957 Collins Family Cookery (see also 1971)
  • 1958 Scandinavian Cooking
  • 1959 A Cook's Guide to Wine
  • 1960 Cottage Cheese and Yogurt
  • 1962 Banana Dishes
  • 1965 What's Cooking in Scotland
  • 1965 The Penguin Salad Book
  • 1965 Cook Continentale
  • 1969 The Art of Irish Cooking
  • 1970 The Business Woman's Cookbook
  • 1971 Collins Family Cookery (see also 1957)
  • 1978 Elizabeth Craig's Hotch Potch
  • 1980 The Scottish Cookery Book (see also 1956)

Promotional recipe books[edit]

Unknown dates
Known dates

Books on housekeeping and gardening[edit]

  • 1936 Elizabeth Craig's Simple Housekeeping
  • 1936 The Housewives' Monthly Calendar
  • 1936 Keeping House with Elizabeth Craig
  • 1937 Modern House-Keeping by Elizabeth Craig (Read it here)
  • 1937 Elizabeth Craig's Household Library (1937 onwards)
  • 1938 Elizabeth's Craig's Simple Gardening
  • 1940 Gardening with Elizabeth Craig (Gardening in wartime)
  • 1941 Elizabeth Craig's Needlecraft
  • 1947 Housekeeping: a book for the single-handed housewife
  • 1947 1000 Household Hints
  • 1948 Gardening with Elizabeth Craig; new edition
  • 1950 Elizabeth Craig's Enquire Within
  • 1952 Elizabeth Craig's Practical Gardening


  1. ^ BBC Archives – Elizabeth Craig's appearance on Parkinson
  2. ^ The Times, "Forthcoming Marriages", 11 August 1919.
  3. ^ The Times, "The Times Diary – Campari and pie with the chaps", 14 February 1973.
  4. ^ Eastern Evening News, "Kathleen Burke's View – Elizabeth Craig's new book", 5 June 1968
  5. ^ Obituary for Elizabeth Craig, The Times, 25 June 1980
  6. ^ As note 2, above
  7. ^ As note 1, above
  8. ^ Craig, Elizabeth Cooking with Elizabeth Craig, ed. 1949. London: Collins; p.3 (there are many earlier editions, 1930s and 1940s) From the foreword (To those who like to cook): "I have tried to cater for all those who write to me, not only from home but from abroad ... for those who like English fare, and for those who, through travelling, have developed a cosmopolitan taste. Personally, I take great interest in all cuisines. Every time I have been to Paris, to Germany, I have picked up ideas to introduce to my table. In Canada and the United States, I shamelessly purloined not only treasured recipes but new methods of serving food ..."
  9. ^ Published by G Delgado Ltd as a weekly calendar, three recipes per week
  10. ^ "Mauduit's cookery book: the vicomte in the kitchen / the art of cooking, preserving, eating, and drinking; with the manner how to make simple dishes; all kinds of banqueting stuffs, of the wines to be drunk with them; and of sauces, syrups, and jams. Also a selection of recipes from many continents, countries, and counties; together with many economic and distinguished novelties; with finally a choice of menus for all occasions, seasons, purses, and moods / by Vicomte de Mauduit". London: S. Nott, 1934. A cheap edition was issued by James Clarke in 1937. For Georges Mauduit de Kervern, Vicomte, 1893-1940s, see: here)