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This article analyses the books of secrets and recipes written for women in the early modern period, taking as a case study Hugh Platt’s Delightes for Ladies. By comparing this book with the more famous The Jewell House of Art and Nature composed by the same author for a general audience, several conclusions can be drawn concerning the way in which women’s interest and capacities were perceived by their mail contemporaries. Shortly, the elements concerning the theoretical and philosophical aspects of some phenomena and the queries for further investigation of nature are removed from the books written from women. While women were expected to put the recipes into practice, men were assumed to be interested in various other aspects of transforming nature, not only the very practical one.
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