Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management


Much of what made this book both necessary and useful in its time was the demise of traditional cooking skills in Victorian Britain due to the industrial revolution.

While this book is antiquated and the tips it provides are more suited to a Victorian household than present-day ones, it provides insight in Victorian domestic life, and it does provide household tips, obsolete though they may be.

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton is 1,112 pages long, with many recipes from the era in amongst the household tips. It was published in 1861 and geared towards the middle class household of the time, particularly those that aspired to rise into the upper classes. While the primary content of the book relates to cooking, including 900 pages of recipes, the book also includes a wealth of advice on how to care for children and how to handle household servants. It is the early version of books by present-day household advice-givers like Martha Stewart.

It should be added that Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management has lots of illustrations.

While the book may be of limited use in matters of running a modern household, it does offer old British recipes that have long disappeared from memory, aside from that, the book may be worthwhile for its historical value. It is essentially the precursor of many of the household DIY books presently available.

Included among the soup recipes are instructions for making green turtle soup, which comes with the little titbit that “hundreds of tureens are served at the lord mayor’s dinner in Guildhall”, information certain to make the dish more appealing to the middle class Victorian housewife.