The Companion is a conduct- as well as cookery-book (the recipes are mainly derived from her earlier works). It also contains an autobiography of the author. In truth it is a rank, but captivating, miscellany, including recipes, medical prescriptions, advice to servants and governesses, hints on upbringing, cosmetics and education, rules of social comportment and conduct, instructions and model letters for correspondence (mainly for young ladies), and Pleasant Discourses and Witty Dialogues between gentlemen and ladies. Great bedtime reading. The editor puts it all in long perspective.
Hannah Woolley (1622-1675) was an English writer who published early books on household management. She married Jerome Woolley, a schoolmaster, in 1646, and ran a grammar schoool with him in Newport, Essex. Later she opened a school in Hackney. When she was widowed in 1661, Hannah Woolley began publishing books on household management in order to earn a living.