Jane Downing


The Kochbuch für die Tropen, first published in Berlin in 1907, has on the titlepage the information that the book was compiled by Antonie Brandeis née Ruete and is based on her many years experience in the tropics and subtropics. The cookbook went to four editions, all in the original German. Whether, a century later, that success can be attributed to the quality of the more-than-three hundred pages of recipes or to the name of the author, is difficult to say. Antonie Brandeis clearly wanted her maiden name advertised. The German book-buying public, and more especially those interested in the colonies of the tropics and subtropics, would have recognised the name, ‘Ruete’, for Brandeis’ mother, Emily Ruete, was a Princess of Zanzibar and Oman, whose memoir, published at the end of the nineteenth century, had given the name a measure of notoriety.



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