A founding text of Victorian middle-class identity, Household Management is today one of the great unread classics. Over a thousand pages long, and written when its author was only 22, it offered highly authoritative advice on subjects as diverse as fashion, child-care, animal husbandry, poisons, and the management of servants. To the modern reader expecting stuffy moralizing and watery vegetables, Beeton's book is a revelation: it ranges widely across thefoods of Europe and beyond, actively embracing new foodstuffs and techniques, mixing domestic advice with discussions of science, religion, class, industrialism and gender roles. Alternately fashionable and frugal, anxious and blusteringly self-confident, Household Management highlights the concerns of theever-expanding Victorian middle-class at a key moment in its history.
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