Tidbits from Mrs. Beeton

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Oct 25, 2017
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I don't know how many of us have heard of this woman, but she was quite the authority back in the day! I found her "Book of Household Management" today (dated 1861), and I'll be sharing tidbits.

If anyone is curious or would like to follow along, here's the free link: https://archive.org/details/b21527799/page/n7

While she was better known "across the pond" as it were, Mrs. Beeton demonstrates the sheer volume of information that in many cases was being published for the first time in many places. This book is at 1186 pages and rather small type.

From the Introduction:

"I must frankly own, that if I had known, beforehand, that this book would have cost me the labour which it has, I should never have been courageous enough to commence it."

More to come as I work through it...
I bought a reprint from Amazon years ago...it really is interesting and still available!:

Anna Elizabeth Henry

1st Lieutenant
Silver Patron
Feb 15, 2015
New York, New York
I bought a reprint from Amazon years ago...it really is interesting and still available!:
@Belle Montgomery this was a great show about her life! Very fascinating in the merging with history, her life and her impact. I loved that they tried her recipes which weren't always suitable for the modern tastes. Also found that her remedies and medical advice seemed useful even today to some extent.

Annie wonderful illustrations. I wish I had this book. I have read it at the library and copied recipes.
There is fairly affordable Oxford Classic edition of her book in paperback here, however, it doesn't include those lovely illustrations.


Forum Host
May 5, 2018
Crossroads of America
Another point from the worthy woman (gee, doesn't that sound condescending today? :/ ) concerning the littlest members of the family and of course, their attending servant:

Most children have some bad habit, of which they must be broken ; but this is
never accomplished by harshness without developing worse evils : kindness, perseverance,
and patience in the nurse, are here of the utmost importance. When finger-sucking is one
of these habits, the lingers are sometimes rubbed with bitter aloes, or some equally dis-
agreeable substance. Others have dirty habits, which are only to be changed by patience.
perseverance, and, above all, by regularity in the nurse. She should never be permitted
to inflict punishment on these occasions, or, indeed, on any occasion.

But, if punish-
ment is to be avoided, it is still more necessary that all kinds of indulgences and flattery
bo equally forbidden. Yielding to all the whims of a child, — picking up its toys when
thrown away in mere wantonness, would be intolerable. A child should never be led to
think others inferior to it, to beat a dog, or even the stone against which it falls, as some
children are taught to do by silly nurses. Neither should the nurse affect or show alarm
at any of the little accidents which must inevitably happen : if it falls, treat it as a trifle;
otherwise she encourages a spirit of cowardice and timidity. But she will take care that
such accidents are not of frequent occurrence, or the result of neglect.

2100. Tho nurse should keep the child as clean as possible, and particularly she should
train it to habits of cleanliness, so that it should feel uncomfortable when otherwise ;
watching especially that it does not soil itself in eating. At the same time, vanity in its
personal appearance is not to be encouraged by over-care in this respect, or by too tight
lacing or buttoning of dresses, nor a small foot cultivated by the use of tight shoes.

2101. Nursemaids would do well to repeat to the parents faithfully and truly the
defects they observe in the dispositions of very young children. If properly checked in
time, evil propensities may be eradicated ; but this should not extend to anything bat
serious defects ; otherwise, the intuitive perceptions which all children possess will con-
strue the act into “ spying ” and “ informing," which should never be resorted to in the
case of children, nor, indeed, in any case.

And what of the mother, I ask you? *sigh.


Forum Host
May 5, 2018
Crossroads of America
How about this dinner for eight people? I'd be half dead if I tried to do it today, let alone back then!


First Course.
  • Calf’s-Head Soup,
  • Brill and Shrimp Sauce. Broiled Mackerel a la Maltre d'HCtel.
  • Entrees.
  • Lobster Cutlets. Calf’s Liver and Bacon, aux fines herbes.

Second Course.
  • Boast Loin of Veal.
  • Two Boiled Fowls a la Bechamel.
  • Boiled Knuckle of Ham.
  • Vegetables — Spinach or Broccoli.

Third Course.
  • Wild Ducks.
  • Apple Custards. Blancmange. Lemon Jelly. Jam Sandwiches.
  • Ice Pudding. Potatoes h la Maltre d’H6tel.
  • Dessert and Ices.
No, no, no. I think not!

And this is a more simple dinner...

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