A historic Simonburn cookery writer is to be brought to life with a new project.

Hannah Glasse, who is described as the Nigella Lawson of her day, wrote ‘The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy’, which was a bestseller for more than a century. Despite Hannah being relatively unknown, the book had more than 40 additions and was owned by Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Covid Recovery Fund has allowed Northumberland Archives to commission the November Club to make a short film about the writer who was born in 1708.

Hannah’s book was published in 1747 and sold in large numbers throughout the English-speaking world. Sadly, she was forced to sell the copywright because of personal circumstances and never saw the full benefit of her success.

Nigel Walsh, Head of Cultural Services at Northumberland County Council, said: “The film is based on a number of family letters which are available in the archives. Hannah’s is a fascinating story of a world-renowned cook and writer who because of personal circumstances have gone largely unknown in history.

Joe Hufton, Artistic Director at November Club, said: “It is brilliant that two Northumberland organisations have been able to come together in this way. Hannah is regarded as the pioneer of easy-to-understand recipes.

"We hope to bring you more films later in the year, as we pay tribute to this incredible Northumbrian woman.”

Writer Fiona Ellis said: “I am so pleased that the extraordinary Hannah Glasse is at last being recognised for the entrepreneur and pioneer that she was. She was a true Northumberland heroine with a fascinating life and real love of her county. It is time we repaid her affection.”

The film will be made available on Northumberland Archives website, while a series of activities will also be developed, with the film asking families to share their recipes as part of the project.

A Facebook group, Hannah Glasse’s Art of Cookery has also been set up featuring recipes and food challenges from the 18th century to the present day.