Author(s): Isabella Beeton
A practical and useful guide for all mistresses and servants.
Isabella Beeton was born in London in 1835 into a lower middle class family and was one of 21 children. At 20, the elegant, auburn-haired Isabella married the charismatic publisher Sam Beeton. He was obviously a man before his time, and he believed in independence for women. From the start, Isabella worked on the magazines, as a complier, editor, journalist and translator. The riggours of running a publishing house and a home, made Isabella wonder why no-one had ever written a good book for brides. In time, the numerous recipes sent in from readers and tested in Isabella's kitchen - with the unique attribution of having ingredients placed before the recipe along with the number of servings and the cost - resulted in over one thousand pages that included 900 recipes. Combined with observations on everything from the servant's wages to the rearing and manegement of children, this tome went on to become Beeton's Book of Household Management, first published in a single volume form in 1861. It was reprinted many times in a variety of formats and under different titles, including in 1893, this revised, enlarged edition entitled Mrs Beeton's Everyday Cookery and Housekeeping Book. Over the next fifty years it grew in the public consciousness until it became one of the biggest brand names in British culinary history. Today in the back of many a cupboard a dusty of this much loved book can still be found. Unfortunately, Isabella herself was long gone. In 1865, she died at the age of 28 from fever, shortly after the birth of her fourth child.