|With bonus jokes about how the Irish are dumb!|
The English Housewife, written (or, more accurately, loosely compiled) by a gentleman farmer named Gervase Markham, is the only book you'll ever need for your new life as a seventeenth century English farmwife. It offers instruction on everything: how to use your knowledge of "physic" (medicine) to cure diseases like bloody flux and pleurisy, which cheeses to put by in which months, the best methods of weaving woolen or linen cloth (not for your own use, but so that you can spot a cheating tradesman), and so forth. Markham made his name writing manuals for farmers, and at one point there were so many editions of his books circulating that his publishers made him sign a pledge never to write another book about cow diseases. True story.