Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mrs. Beeton

My Mrs. Beeton's
I've been trying to write this blog all week but life kept interfering.  Doctor's appointment for Mac, his 60,000 mile, six month check-up, and all was well there, plus my eyes have not been behaving so I had to take them back to my retina specialist for a check-up; think we've gotten them sorted out, so I think I'll try and get this written.
A couple of years ago we got the DVD The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton from Netflix and really enjoyed it.  Of course I'd heard of her and assumed she was some fussy, well-to-do,  old Victorian lady giving household advice to the less enlightened.  So I was really surprised to learn how unfussy she was, how young she was, only in her 20's, and how ignorant of household management she was in the beginning.  I thought it'd be interesting to get hold of one of her books.

Now flash forward to our trip to England in September.  When we're in England we always spend as much time as possible  in bookstores, particularly used bookstores.  Well while prowling through shelves of books in a store near Chipping Camden one day Mac found a copy of Mrs. Beeton's Cookery Book and brought it over to me to see if I would be interested.  Ha, interested!  I was absolutely thrilled!
  Her original book, Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management ran to 1,112 pages with more than 900 of the pages being devoted to recipes.  This little gem is 372 pages and most of them are recipes, with some pages given to the role of the housewife which includes management of servants (don't I wish), advice for the kitchen, kitchen machines, laundry work, marketing, the larder, and  methods of cookery.  The rest of the book is all recipes with loads of black and white illustrations and a few color prints.
Haven't tried any of the recipes but I plan on trying some of them, in particular there is a dessert made with apples call a Friar's Omelet I want to try.
There is no publishing date on my book, but I went online and found that it was an updated copy, hence electrical appliances are mentioned, and was published in 1925, what a find!

Fish Recipes

Sweets Recipes


  1. I have a modern copy but although I have never cooked anything from it, I find it a great read ...and gives such insight in to middleclass life in Victorian England... and what a good cook could achieve. I envy you your 1925 copy.

  2. Glad you enjoyed my photos from Kedleston Hall. I watched a programme about mrs beeton a couple of weeks ago and like you was surprised that she was so young! I'd like to find a copy of her book after seeing the documentary.


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