Maria Eliza Rundell, née Ketelby, was born in Ludlow, Shropshire, England. She married Thomas Rundell, a partner in an eminent London firm of silversmiths and jewelers. She collected various cookery recipes and suggestions for household management for her own use and that of her married daughters. She sent the manuscript of her first book to publisher John Murray, an old family friend. It was published in 1808 as A New System of Domestic Cookery and became a bestseller. It's considered the earliest complete manual of household management. The book was translated into German in 1841, the same year that the 65th English edition appeared. She also published two other books, Domestic Happiness (1806) and Letters addressed to Two Absent Daughters (1814).