These three books by Francois Pierre de la Varenne (c. 1615-1678), who was chef to the Marquis d'Uxelles, are the most important French cookery books of the seventeenth century. They were the first French cookery books of any substance since Le Viandier almost 300 years before, and they ran to thirty editions in 75 years. The reason for the success was simple: these were the first books to record and embody the immense advance which French cooking had made, largely under the influence of Italy and the Renaissance, since the fifteenth century. Some characteristics of medieval cookery are still visible, but many have disappeared. New World ingredients make their entrance. A surprising number of recipes for dishes still made in modern times (omelettes, beignets and even pumpkin pie) are given. The watershed from medieval to modern times is being crossed before our eyes in La Varenne's pages. So important was this book that English cooks of the time immediately bought copies and one (anonymous) even translated it into English in the middle of the Puritan rule of Oliver Cromwell. This translation, as is the original, is extremely difficult to understand: there are difficult words, omissions, mistranslations, and other opacities. Terence Scully has solved all modern readers' problems by undertaking a modern translation with detailed commentary of the original French texts. His work takes cognisance of the early English translation, as well as not ignoring contemporary works available to those early cooks for purposes of comparison and contrast. Terence Scully is Emeritus Professor of French at Wilfrid Laurier University. He specialises in medieval French language and literature, and is the author of The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages, and has translated Le Vivendier, Le Viandier, and the treatise on cookery by Chiquart. He is also author of many articles and other writings on French philology.