Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Mrs. Beeton

It's funny how some people end up making a mark on history for a seemingly trivial thing. The name Mrs. Beeton has become synonymous with cookery although she died over 150 years ago at the tender age of 28.

Mrs. Beeton, born Isabella Mary Mayson, was born in 1836 and must be the most famous cookery writer in British history.



On a visit to London, she was introduced to Samuel Orchard Beeton, a publisher of books and popular magazines, whom she married on 10 July 1856 at the age of 20.

She began to write articles on cooking and household management for her husband's publications.

In 1859–1861, she wrote a monthly supplement to The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine.

The supplements were published as a single volume, 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.



After giving birth to her fourth child in January 1865, Isabella contracted puerperal fever and died a week later, aged 28.

Her books were republished many times and there are many original copies still around today and luckily I have two of them from which these pictures are taken.

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