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Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – Abridged, May 18, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

`conveys a wonderful insight into Victorian life.' Marguerite Patten, Saga, July 2000

`The book is a great reference for classic British food' Restaurant

'It could well turn out to be the surprise bestseller of 2000,answering as it does the new hunger for real cooking ....[it] exactly captures our longing for a return to the real thing.' Kathryn Hughes, The Observer, 2.1.2000

About the Author

Nicola Humble is at Roehampton Institute, London.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Abridged edition (May 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192833456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192833457
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.8 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,213,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. L. Poehler on November 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is written in such a way that you are drawn into the past and standing alongside the mistress of the house...planning your day and making sure the "household help" do their jobs well. It certainly reminds us of the benfits we have currently - with washing machines, dishwashers, automobiles, pre-packaged food and yes,fast food, yet still don't have enough time to do all the things we need/want to do. How would you like to dress your own cow or help make every article of clothing you wear (even though the "hired help" did most of it)? A brief introduction to the book instills in the reader a sense of where Mrs. Beeton arrived at her thoughts for "proper household management." She seems to have been frustrated by societal changes she was witnessing and wanted her "good ol' days" to return. It is a book I highly recommend not only for the history, but for the entertainment value. I could not put it down once I started.
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Format: Hardcover
Inside you will not only find all kinds of information on cooking and the products used but loads of drawings of kitchen gadgets and food dishes, information on how a victorian kept a household and the servants within, cared for the sick, maintained a degree of ettiquette as well as planned the type of meals held throughout the year for family and guests. This is certainly a wonderful read and the recipies are easy to follow.
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A Kid's Review on October 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
I find that if Mrs Beeton was alive today, she would be discusted at the sight of this book. It does not have all the recipes that other cookery books of hers have in it. The best book that you can by of hers is the one called
'Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management: A Specially Enlarged First Edition Facsimile/07542'
You can find this book by clicking on the part to the left under the book search part where it says 'Other Books By Isabella Beeton'. You will find it under the 'Out Of Print' section. This will be more usefull, and has those few little recipes in them like 'Apple Jelly' or 'Christmas Cake'. It is more usefull, with more descriptive pictures in it. Do not fall into the same trap that I did.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a complete classic. While back in Britain at my inlaws' house, I read much of the original in a very old copy on their kitchen shelves. I have to admit I fell in love with her earnest tone and dry humor, and was very glad to see this edition so affordably priced upon our return. The abridgment worried me but it's still HUGE, so no complaints. Made a very fun and whimsical Mother's Day gift for my mom, too, who loves this type of thing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an enlarged photo-reproduction of the first edition of Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management. Along with more than 1500 recipes the book includes numerous chapters on the responsibilities of the lady of a house and of all the servants. If you've been entranced by Downtown Abbey and want to know what the duties of a ladies' maid actually were, Mrs. Beeton explains it all to you and even tells you what the going wages are for each occupation! There are also household hints, an outline of legal matters the lady of the house should be familiar with, sections on care of invalids and medical conditions, etc. In other words, this is an encyclopedic work and explains why it has never gone out of fashion, even though there have been updated modern editions. Of course, if you want to know what the food was like at Downton, or at more modest establishments, and how the Victorians entertained, Mrs. Beeton answers all your questions.

Even though this book appeared in 1865, you can still cook from this book. It's one of the first truly modern cookbooks that includes lists and quantities of ingredients in a recipe and explicit instructions that don't assume the reader is already an experienced cook. Beeton includes a wide range of recipes, from traditional English foods to French, German and other Continental dishes. English food has had a reputation for being bland, but that was obviously not the case in Victorian times -- Beeton has a liberal hand with seasonings and doses almost everything (except sweets, of course) with cayenne pepper! That was reduced and even eliminated in later updates to the book, so tastes evidently evolved towards less highly seasoned dishes as Britain moved into the Edwardian Age and then the post-War world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I still love this work, a perfect picture of Victorian upper-class domestic life, but was very disappointed with the physical product. I sent back the first volume because of blacked out pages, mis-aligned pages, unreadably fuzzy print, etc. etc. etc. The second copy I received was a bit better but not much, a lot of the print was still so unclear it was illegible. I have the old facsimile edition (now out of print) so I know it's possible to have clear print and none of these problems. This is a terrible production job.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here's the quintessential 19th century handbook on cookery and on all aspects of running a household. It has wonderful illustrations for things like a ball supper for 100, including how the buffet tables are to be set, and all recipes are included. It also serves as a manual for a young housewife just starting off with a minimum of servants (!!!) and teaches how to manage them and what to expect of them and how to set a good example. When I was little and had pneumonia, I read these amazing chapters and could explain how to choose a footman or an upstairs maid. Generations of British girls found this necessary to living a civilized life (you'll learn when to leave what kind of calling card, for example). Great fun nowadays.
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