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Mrs. Beeton's Book Of Household Management (Mrs Beeton's Cookery Collection #1)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  835 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
'As with the commander of an army, or the leader of any enterprise, so it is with the mistress of a house.' A founding text of Victorian middle-class identity, Household Management is today one of the great unread classics. Over a thousand pages long, and written when its author was only 22, it offered highly authoritative advice on subjects as diverse as fashion, child-ca ...more
Hardcover, 1112 pages
Published January 1983 by Chancellor Press (first published 1865)
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Sep 20, 2011 Whitaker marked it as celebrity-death-match  ·  review of another edition

From his vantage point on a hill, Napoleon surveys the carnage going on between French and Russian troops below. Suddenly, to his astonishment, he sees a woman wandering around amid the fighting soldiers. She seems to be carrying a large kettle of soup.

Sacre bleu! Qu’est qu'elle fait là-bas?” [Good lord, what is she doing there?]
Lieutenant! Saisissez cette femme, et l’emmenez ici!” [Lieutenant! Seize that woman, and bring her here!]

The trusty li
For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, Mary Poppins (32) versus Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (16)

[Breakfast at the Banks's. MR BANKS eats his toast with an irritated expression]

MR BANKS: Winifred?

MRS BANKS: Yes dear?

MR BANKS: Don't you sometimes think that Mary Poppins is a little too, how shall I put it, magical?

MRS BANKS: Yes dear.

MR BANKS: Then don't you think we should do something about it?

MRS BANKS: Yes dear.

MR BANKS: Well, what are we going to do then?

Maryana Pinchuk
Mar 12, 2016 Maryana Pinchuk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has everything you need to know in order to make it as a Victorian head-of-household!

* Instructive Eurocentric narratives of progress/throwing shade at "the Orientals" (because they invented everything before Europeans did, but of course they did it all wrong)
* A helpful tabular account of the average yearly wages for your domestics (spoiler: the highest paid woman servant still got paid less than all the manservants except the pageboy and the stableboy!)
* "General observations on the
Sep 18, 2011 notgettingenough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
A Celebrity Deathmatch review. Mrs B vs War and Peace.

Me: They’ve announced the draw for the fight tonight.You’ve got Leo.

Mrs B: Tolstoy? That – that – that –

Me: Vegetarian?

Mrs B: Exactly. That vapid wimpy, let’s not be killing animals, I eat to live Russian borscht swiller. Well, pluck me dead and –

And, yes, saute some shallots gently in butter, add some white wine and –

Mrs B hastily collects herself. Ha. You know he hates the sight of blood. He won’t even turn up at the ring. Who do I get ne
Jul 12, 2010 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction

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In The Awakening we are prompted to sympathize with Edna Pontellier, who feels unfulfilled, a piece of property her husband owns. At one point in the book, Edna steps over a servant, a “quadroon,” and I thought, “What about her life?” In more books than you would suppose, the servants, the lower classes, are presented so fleetingly, they become invisible.

One of fascinating aspects of The Remains of the Day--both the book and film-- was how fully the lives of the servants were depict
REVIEW FOR Celebrity Death Match Review Elimination Tournament ONLY

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (16) versus War and Peace (17)

Setting - Mud Wrestling Ring on a pontoon in the middle of a lake.

Mrs B faces the forces of both leaders of Le Grande Armee and Hussars and spoons them generous portions of...

(From page 133) - "USEFUL SOUP FOR BENEVOLENT PURPOSES: Ingredients - an ox-cheek; any pieces of trimmings of beef, which may be bought very cheaply (say 4 lbs); a few bones; any pot-
Oct 05, 2011 Sakkfeminizmus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A "straw feminist" a feminista változata a hírhedt szalma ember. A szalma ember a személy, aki feltalálta a tulajdon egy pontot, általában összefogást szálat a másik oldal érveit, és hiedelmek, valamint a hamis nyilatkozatokat tett a másik oldalon. Gyakran elofordul, hogy szalmát ember kifejezetten könnyen megtámadják, a teremto így hiányosságok a fiktív teremtés logikája amely bántalmazták könnyedén, és ezzel "megcáfolása" pontok által a másik oldalon.

Abban az értelemben, a feminizmus, a "straw
Sep 29, 2011 Manny marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (16) versus War and Peace (17)

- Count Tolstoy, to what do I owe the pleasure of this unexpected visit?

- Mrs Beeton, admit defeat. Your goose is cooked.

- What, already? Let me check the thermometer... no, still well under 180 degrees, so I'm relieved to see you are mistaken. But that reminds me, I must put on the potatoes and beans. I apologise, I'd love to chat, but this is a rather busy moment. Could you
May 30, 2013 Bec rated it liked it
My grandmother brought all of her grandchildren (who all happen to be girls) a copy of this book, so that we would have no excuse for an untidy house or going hungry. All it made me do was research getting servants.
Oct 04, 2011 notgettingenough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
Celebrity Death Match review vs M. Poppins.

‘You have to admit you’re a bit light weight aren’t you?

It’s going to take more than a spoonful of sugar to win this competition, you understand. I mean look at what Heart of Darkness is doing to Pooh and 1984 to Alice. You kiddy characters who think life’s all about honey and sweet things…we’re going to have to cook up something pretty good to take on the heavyweights here.

It’s a pity, of course, that we aren’t meeting in the final.’

Isabella and Mary w
Zombaby Cera
Dec 08, 2008 Zombaby Cera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's completely astounding how much involvement went into running a victorian household of good standing. Thank goodness for modern conveniences and lower standards! *lolz*
John Lewis
A remarkable classic and fantastic insight into Victorian life through the auspices of the kitchen - Isabella Beeton, often mistaken for a much older woman, was merely 22 when she compiled her seminal tome of good recipes, seasonal produce and practical advice for the everyday running of the home and the caring of the ill and infirm. Despite it's age; Household Management is still a go to book today for remedial action, and although the methods and even ingredients are by today's standards somew ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott J.
May 01, 2009 Scott J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting way of approaching an epoch -- through advice meant to be purely practical. A modern day (sort of) version of Virgil's Georgics? We read: pastoral splendor. He meant: particulars of animal husbandry.

Beeton's text is sort of the same thing. She meant: how to manage your footmen & butlers, prepare meals for invalids, host a 9-course dinner for 80 guests, etc. We read: hilarious Victorian novelty from cover to cover.
Mar 03, 2014 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this tome (no other description will do). This book is eminently approachable, one can either read it sequentially, or mine for data at will. At times the book leaves a faint taste of admonition, but nevertheless, I would heartily recommend this book to cookbook collectors and lovers of history, alike. The window through which readers gaze upon this slice of life is captivating and sure to please the "Upstairs, Downstairs" crowd, et al.
Feb 05, 2017 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I work in a hotel industry and downloaded this book out of curiosity to see how houses were managed in the past. The parts which were of an interest and the only I have consequently read dealt with housekeeping, management of domestic workers, and responsibilities of a mistress.
You are going to walk through daily duties of a mistress, housekeeper, and key domestic workers. The largest portion of household management was devoted to food preparation and dining.
Although I do understand that the w
Emma Schubert
Feb 02, 2017 Emma Schubert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the sociological viewpoint this books gives into the lives of women "back in the day". Some parts of this book are unintentionally hilarious from a modern perspective.
Evelyn Wood
Nov 25, 2015 Evelyn Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Isabella Mary Beeton had a short and in some ways tragic life dieing a month short of her 29th birthday from syphilis contracted from her philandering husband.

Isabella was well educated, a linguist and musician. She was also unconventional and strong minded perhaps the result of her upbringing. Her father died when she was four leaving her mother with four children of whom she was the eldest. Her mother remarried, Henry Dorling, a widower who also had four children and they then had 13 more. Isa
Timothy Ferguson
Jan 28, 2015 Timothy Ferguson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librivox
In audio, it is just over 52 hours long, and shows the strength of Librivox, in that it can create non-commercialisable works like these. I gave it up, having listened to about half, because

it is extremely long. I enjoyed the social history elements of it, and skipped most of the the recipes to listen to them, but the pure commitment is too much for me right now.
I have Alton Brown’s cookbooks to get through, and am thinking of recording one of Soyer’s and they are more amusing.
Beeton did not
Feb 10, 2013 Hex rated it really liked it
This was a free Kindle book for the purpose of research for my NaNowriMo '11/12 project. Interestingly, my first introduction to this book was through the wonderful BBC show, Supersizers. As such, when I read through this guide of running a household -- I hear it read in my head in the voice of Sue Perkins.

This book is progressive for the era it was written, though it still at times, of course, annoys my feminist sensibilities. It is, however, an invaluable resource in understanding both the wa
This was originally published as newspaper columns from 1859-1861. It is a guide to managing a household during the 19th century. It was an entertaining and light one sitting read that I may dip into again from time to time. Recommended for any fan of the Victorian period.
Amy Rae
Jan 01, 2016 Amy Rae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-and-cooking
I'm not adding a date to when I "finished" this book, because I haven't read it cover to cover, and who knows if I ever will? But I picked this up today for six bucks at a Half-Price Books, and I'm so impressed with it that I wanted to comment on it.

This is, bar none, the nicest facsimile edition of any book I've ever seen. It's absolutely beautiful, a sturdy hardcover binding with pages that really and truly look like they're from an old book. You aren't getting badly scanned photos or spotty p
Oct 08, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mom got a copy of this, and I greatly enjoyed reading it and looking through it. Some of the recipes sound quite doable, and other seem quite alarming. It took us a while to figure out some of the ingredients as well; who knew that isinglass was a kind of gelatin, and forcemeat meant stuffing(I think)? There are also some really interesting sections on how to manage your servants (hah!), and how much to pay them and so on. There were also sample dinner menus for the family, and for dinner par ...more
Mikael Lind
May 21, 2013 Mikael Lind rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian-life
I have a facsimile of the original, a beautiful hardback book that I randomly read every week or so.
I haven't tried a simple recipe, but that's not what matters. This book is simply a fabulous time document of the Victorian era. Also, it can be both informative and less-so, and at times it is just (unintentionally) really funny.
I love this book, my friends love it and always flick trough it when they come to visit. Try to find a beautiful copy of this; that's the most important thing. My hardbac
Jan 25, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a woman and a medical professional, this book made me laugh sometimes in some of the
practices and recommendations given by Mrs Beeton.
Keeping windows closed at night, and also not allowing adults to sleep in the same room as babies, because babies suck all the oxygen, was astonishing.
I was horrified as some of recipes and foods eaten, and also amazed and envious at others.
As a top seller during it's day, I can see a lot of households trying to live as Mrs Beeton recommended, as people do toda
Elisha (lishie)
I have been reading/looking over this Reference book while reading Mary: A Novel by Janis Cooke Newman (Mrs. Lincoln mocks a "Mrs. Beecher" when she is trying to learn to keep house and the reference must be to Mrs. Beeton.) Isabella Beeton was considered a "Domestic Goddess", the Victorian eras' Martha Stewart and any Lady of the House owned a copy of the book. I remember watching Victorian House on PBS and the mother being given this book for all cleaning and cooking reference. 580 pages of Vi ...more
Amanda Nuchols
May 07, 2013 Amanda Nuchols rated it really liked it
Sure, it's dated in many respects, especially considering some of the social advice, but the recipes are worth every minute you spend reading this book. It's also interesting learning about older cooking tools, old names for ingredients/spices and the history of pricing for many meals. Anyone who considers themselves a "foodie" or a proficient cook should absolutely read this book to learn more about the history of food. I guarantee you will also find piles of recipes still good for today's tabl ...more
Rey Walker
Mar 03, 2014 Rey Walker rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, food, non-fiction
Provides an excellent snapshot of middle class British households in the mid 1800s. Even the author's misguided opinions and instructions are enlightening. I particularly enjoyed the "General Observations" sections that provide tangential, historic, or seemingly random notes about the chapter. The section on domestic help is interesting too because it provides the duties and expectations of the various types of employees hired to run a household.
May 09, 2010 Ailish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Mine is an 1890s edition I found in a garage. Contains wonderful things like how to truss a fowl, recipes for arrowroot blancmange, grouse pie, roast widgeon and mulligatawny soup as well as 'Soup, useful for Benevolent Purposes', menus for ball suppers, cleaning the drawing room, instructions on the division of labour between the servants and how much beer to allow them.
Mar 10, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this book. I was bracing myself for a stuffy Victorian voice, but I was curious, so I opened it up and immediately found myself drawn in by bright, clear and interesting writer. It is a delightful read and has some pretty good recipes...although I doubt I will ever try the tourtise recipe, yuk.
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Isabella Mary Beeton (née Mayson), universally known as Mrs Beeton, was the English author of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, and is one of the most famous cookery writers.

Popularly known as "Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management", it was a guide to running a Victorian household, with advice on fashion, childcare, animal husbandry, poisons, the management of servants, science, relig
More about Isabella Beeton...

Other Books in the Series

Mrs Beeton's Cookery Collection (6 books)
  • A Victorian Alphabet of Everyday Recipes
  • Mrs Beeton's Complete Book of Cakes and Biscuits
  • Mrs. Beeton's Complete Book of Puddings & Desserts
  • Mrs. Beeton's Pantry: Preserving, Freezing, Cooking Ahead and Tasty Meals from Storecupboard..
  • Mrs Beeton's Traditional Cake Decorating

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“Afternoon tea should be provided, fresh supplies, with thin bread-and-butter, fancy pastries, cakes, etc., being brought in as other guests arrive.” 6 likes
“IN CONVERSATION, TRIFLING OCCURRENCES, such as small disappointments, petty annoyances, and other every-day incidents, should never be mentioned to your friends.” 1 likes
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