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The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton

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Isabella Beeton

Oxford World's Classics: The Magazine: A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place
"Ultimately, Household Management is so much more than a cookery book. It tells a story of a culture caught between the old world and the new, poised between modernity and nostalgia." So writes Nicola Humble, editor of a new edition of Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management, in an article at the Oxford University Press World's Classics Web site. Humble dispels common misconceptions about Mrs. Beeton and her book, and explains her role as an innovator and a modern woman.

Guardian Unlimited: Mrs. Beeton couldn't cook but she could copy, reveals historian
Isabella Beeton plagiarized almost every recipe in her Book of Household Management, yet she remains valuable as an innovator and a trendsetter. Arts correspondent Mark Brown examines why, for a June 2006 Guardian Unlimited article.

Mediadrome: Mrs. Beeton and Me
Here is a contemporary narrative about Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management, told from the point of view of a user. Helen Stringer, writing for the 'Mediadrome,' an online entertainment magazine, describes how she came across a copy of the digest at her grandmother's house and explains why she feels that Mrs. Beeton was one of the first "truly modern women," and an icon to whom she is now indebted.

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Mrs. Beeton's Book

Mrs. Beeton -- Book of Household Management -- by Isabella Beeton
Step back in time and browse Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management, where one can find a plethora of recipes, advice and information from managing the servants of the house to medical counsel. The homepage provides a brief introduction to Isabella Beeton and her life.

Project Gutenberg: The Book of Household Management by Mrs. Isabella Mary Beeton
Download the complete e-book of The Book of Household Management. Project Gutenberg, a producer of free electronic books, presents full and unabridged e-texts of classic works of literature. Users can download e-books or visit the bibliographic record of various authors.

British Library: Learning: Language and Literature: Mrs. Beeton
The British Library offers a Language & Literature section within their extensive Web site. Here we find this overview of Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management, which discusses among other things the language she uses and how the mistress of the house was not expected to dirty her hands!

Beeton's Book of Household Management - Title page
Another link within the British Library's 'Language and Literature' section is Books for Cooks, where links to illustrated pages from Isabella Beeton's celebrated cookbook are available. The excerpts each appear with a brief description, and an outline of Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management. A Portrait of England: Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management
ICONS Online is a non-profit British organization commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. This site identifies and examines icons of British culture and devotes a page to Mrs. Beeton and her book. A biography and illustrated recipes are included. Delve further by reading about Beeton's biographer Kathryn Hughes, Victorian servants, the life of a famous descendent of Isabella Beeton and more.

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Kathryn Hughes' Biography of Isabella Beeton

Literary Review: Cooking Up a Storm
Peppered with fascinating facts and biographical details, Lucy Lethbridge's review of Kathryn Hughes's biography demonstrates how Hughes has revived the charm and appeal of the '19th-century Martha Stewart' for a modern day audience. The Literary Review was founded in Edinburgh in 1979 by Dr. Anne Smith, head of the English Department at Edinburgh University.

Guardian Unlimited: Mrs. Beeton -- a perfect gift for mothers
Kathryn Hughes, Beeton's biographer, talks about the maternal Isabella, the heartbreaking losses she suffered and what became of her surviving children. She emphasizes the great need in the mid-19th-century for Mrs. Beeton's reference book and clarifies why Mrs. Beeton has become a 'mother to us all.' A March 2007 book review from The Guardian Unlimited.

The New York Times: Books of the Times: Meet the Mrs. Who Organized the Domestic Engineers
Primarily a review of Kathryn Hughes's biography of Mrs. Beeton, this article provides details about Isabella Beeton's childhood and married life, describing how she turned the task of running a household into an art form, thus ensuring her legacy. A May 2006 review by William Grimes.

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Domestic Guides and Periodicals

Recipe Books
In addition to a brief outline of Mrs. Beeton's life and her famous recipe book, this site offers a glimpse of life in Victorian and Edwardian kitchens, before there was such a thing as a kitchen sink! Additional intriguing facts are presented about cleaning agents used at the time and domestic servants. The Wolverhampton Museum in the British Midlands created this online collection to celebrate its diverse industrial past.

Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, 1852-77
This academic account tells the story of the Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, edited and published by Samuel Beeton. Isabella got her journalistic start here, editing columns for her husband. With a focus on the science content, the report details the magazine's evolution over time, drawing attention to Isabella's contributions. Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical is a searchable electronic index to the science content of sixteen 19th-century general periodicals.

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Books about Isabella Beeton

Freeman, Sarah. Isabella and Sam: The Story of Mrs. Beeton. London: Gollancz, 1977.

Hughes, Kathryn. The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton. London: Fourth Estate, 2005.

Hyde, H. Montgomery. Mr. and Mrs. Beeton. London: Harrah, 1951.

Nown, Graham. Mrs. Beeton: 150 Years of Cookery & Household Management. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1986.

Spain, Nancy. Mrs. Beeton and Her Husband. London: Collins, 1948.

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Books attributed to Isabella Beeton

After Isabella Beeton died in 1865, her husband continued to regularly issue new, updated editions of her Book of Household Management and subsequent publishers have continued this practice. In addition, completely new books have been published bearing Isabella's name, although she had nothing to do with their actual development or authorship.

Beeton, Isabella. All About Cookery: A Collection of Practical Recipes. London: Ward, Lock, Bowden, 1892.

Continental Cookery. Irene Hirst, Ed. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1964.

Hors d'oeuvre and Savouries, Including Cheese and Egg Dishes, Sandwiches, Salads and Dressings. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1925.

Mrs. Beeton's Best of British Home Cooking. Bridget Jones, Ed. New York, New York: Sterling Publishing, 1998.

Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management. London: S.O. Beeton, 1858-1861.

Mrs. Beeton's Book of Needlework. London. 1870.

Mrs. Beeton's Book of Summer. Bridget Jones, Ed. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1995.

Mrs. Beeton's Cake-making: Including Buns, Biscuits and Other Dainties. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 192?.

Mrs. Beeton's Christmas Book: Practical Ideas for Creating the Traditional Christmas. London: Ward, Lock, & Co.

Mrs. Beeton's Christmas Menus. London: Ward, Lock, & Co.

Mrs. Beeton's Cold Sweets: Jellies, Creams, Fruit Dishes, Cold Puddings, and Ices. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1925.

Mrs. Beeton's Complete Book of Fish and Seafood Cookery. London: Ward, Lock, and Co.

Mrs. Beeton's English Cookery. New York, New York: Crown, 195?.

Mrs. Beeton's Every-day Cookery and Housekeeping Book. London: Ward, Lock, & Tyler, 187?.

Mrs. Beeton's Family Cookery and Housekeeping Book. London: Ward, 1893.

Mrs. Beeton's Healthy Eating. Easy Dishes for Entertaining. Bridget Jones, Ed. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1994.

Mrs. Beeton's Hints to Housewives. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1928.

Mrs. Beeton's Main Course Cookbook. London: Ward, Lock & Co.

Mrs. Beeton's Pantry. Bridget Jones, Ed. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1992.

Mrs. Beeton's Puddings and Pies, Tarts, Soufflés, Omelets and Fritters. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1925.

Mrs. Beeton's Sauces and Soups. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1925.

Mrs. Beeton's Traditional Cake Decorating. Bridget Jones, Ed. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1991.

Soups, Starters, and Savouries. Bridget Jones London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1994.

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