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Mrs Beeton's Book Of Household Management

Mrs Beeton's Book Of Household Management
The original book's title page © TopFoto.co.uk

Our own age has Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson and Jamie OIiver to guide us through the mysteries of cooking. In the 19th century, domestic cooks could turn to an enormous book that told them not only how to roast pheasant and make sago pudding, but also how to cope with teething babies and dress a grazed knee.

Beeton's Book Of Household Management was published in 1861 (the "Mrs" was added later), a comprehensive edition of recipes and practical wisdom that its compiler had been publishing piecemeal in magazines. Isabella Beeton lived (and died young) in an era when the skills she imparted were an essential part of home-making, and its fascinating portrait of its time has kept it in print ever since the first edition.