November 27, 2013

Beeton's Book of Household Management

I stumbled across a first edition facsimile of Beeton's Book of Household Management at the library the other day. First appearing in monthly supplements to Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine in 1859, the collected work was fist published in 1861. According to the book flap synopsis in this 1968 reprint, Beeton's remains, "the biggest selling cookery book of all time."

I love books of etiquette and domestic advice. To me, they offer a glimpse into baffling, mysterious worlds of secret rules, pitfalls, and seemingly arbitrary do-s and don't-s. I am endlessly fascinated by society's changing restrictions on the lives of women. But, enough of that. How about some roast turkey?
"THE DISPOSITION OF THE TURKEY - Among themselves turkeys are extremely furious, whilst amongst other animals they are usually both weak and cowardly."(p 495)
The image in the center, A1, is roast turkey. Don't ask me what the sausage looking things are circling the bird. Haven't a clue. Happy Thanksgiving.

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