- The original 24 monthly parts.
The Book of Household Management
Comprising information for the MISTRESS, HOUSEKEEPER, COOK, KITCHEN-MAID, BUTLER, FOOTMAN, COACHMAN, VALET, UPPER AND UNDER HOUSE-MAIDS, LADY'S MAID, MAID-OF-ALL-WORK, LAUNDRY-MAID, NURSE AND NURSE-MAID, MONTHLY, WET AND SICK NURSES, ETC.ETC. ALSO SANITARY, MEDICAL AND LEGAL MEMORANDA; WITH A HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN, PROPERTIES, AND USES OF ALL THINGS CONNECTED WITH HOME LIFE AND COMFORT. BY MRS ISABELLA BEETON. "Nothing lovelier can be found in woman, than to study household good".-Milton. LONDON: S.O. BEETON, 248, STRAND, W.C. 1861.
FIRST AND SOLE EDITION. In the original 24 parts. Housed in a handsome Sangorski and Sutcliffe clam shell box.
- Mrs Beeton’s ‘Book of Household Management’ is the most famous English cookery book ever published. It stands four-square in the nation’s perception as a bastion of traditional English fare and solid Victorian values. Far from being traditional, ‘Household Management’ was markedly innovative, introducing the newly expanded and self-consciously respectable Victorian middle class to the latest manufactured food products, to a wide range of foreign recipes, and to fashionably different modes of dining. Although it contains a smattering of extravagant recipes, if anything it errs on the side of frugality, with many left-overs. (It was these which tended to be removed from later editions, encouraging the book to be viewed as extravagant.) The rural economy in which most people produced their own food had been long lost by the time Beeton embarked on her book, and she is as nostalgic for that old connection to the land as we are today. ‘Household Management’ must rank as one of the great unread classics. Everyone has heard of it, a number of people own a copy (often an early twentieth-century edition, much expanded and bearing little relationship to Beeton’s original text), but it is rarely considered as anything other than a culinary curiosity. Yet it is one of the major publishing success stories of the nineteenth century, selling over half a million copies by 1890. In the next century the names ‘Mrs Beeton’ and ‘Household Management’ were to continue to make enormous profits for Ward, Lock & Co., to whom Isabella Beeton’s husband Samual Orchard sold the rights in a disastrous deal soon after Isabella’s death from an infection after giving birth to her fourth child in 1864, at the age of 28. Mrs Beeton’s ‘Book of Household Management’ was first published in a single volume in 1861, by the firm of S.O.Beeton. Priced at 7s. 6d. it was nearly as thick as it was high. Successfully selling over 60,000 copies in the first year. This was not, though, it’s first appearance in print. Between 1859 and 1861 it had been issued in 24 monthly parts. (The original plan was for 15-18) Each part was priced at 3d., and the type setting and text was identical in the later published volumes. A full set of those 24 parts in fine condition are displayed here.
click on image to enlarge
Antiquarian categoryref number: 11050