Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 May 2011
The Queens Closet Opened.
Incomparable Secrets in Physick, Chyrurgery, Preserving and Candying, &c. Which were presented to the QUEEN: By the most experienced Persons of the Times, many whereof were had in Esteem when she pleased to descend to private Recreations. Corrected and Revived, with many new and large Additions: together with three exact Tables.
Vivit post Funera Virtus.
LONDON, Printed for Obadiah Blagrave, at the Sign of the Black Bear in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1679.
The Queens Closet Opened, one of the most popular seventeenth-century household handbooks first printed in 1655, is a collection of medical remedies, advice on preserves and culinary recipes claimed to be used in the royal household of Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles I. On the title page, the anonymous author, W.M., describes the book in the usual persuasive market discourse of the period, promising the purchasers and readers access to the incomparable secrets of the aristocracy in diet and health. The target audience of the book was presumably the seventeenth-century general readership, particularly female readers in charge of similar concerns in their own households. What catches the eye of a researcher interested in multilingualism on this page is the lofty Latin sentence, Vivit post Funera Virtus, ‘virtue outlives death’. Both in terms of language choice and actual meaning, this sentence seems out of place in a small and relatively cheap-looking practically oriented English-language quarto volume which in all likelihood is intended for a non-Latinate readership and directs the reader to better health and pleasures and luxuries of life rather than to concerns of moral values.