The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton: The First Domestic Goddess Review ¼ PDF DOC TXT eBook or Kindle ePUB free

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Ring mother hardly suspected that her name would become synonymous with housewifery for generations  Nor would the women who turned to the book for guidance ever have guessed that its author lived in a simple house in the suburbs with a single maid of all work instead of presiding over a well run estate Isabella would die at twenty eight shortly after the book's publication never knowing the extent of her legacy As her survivors faced bankruptcy sexual scandal and a bitter family feud that lasted than a century Mrs Beeton’s book became an institution For an exploding population of the newly affluent it prescribed not only how. I was inspired to read this after watching a Sophie Dahl TV show about Mrs Beeton which was fascinating and used this book as a source It was interesting enough that I thought I'd like to know Turns out I was wrong The most interesting parts of the book for me about Isabella's early life and marriage were adeuately covered by the TV show which also mixed in some visits to key places and tested a few of the recipes and remedies I did not really care enough to reuire the level of detail presented here about for example the lives of the parents and grandparents of both Isabella and her husband or the lengthy descriptions of exactly which parts of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management were borrowed cited or uncited from which other books

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The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton The First Domestic GoddessTo cook and clean but ways to cope with the social flux of the emerging consumer culture how to plan a party for ten whip up a hair pomade or calculate how much money was needed to permit the hiring of a footman In the twentieth century Mrs Beeton would be accused of plagiarism blamed for the dire state of British cookery and used to market everything from biscuits to meat piesThis elegant revelatory portrait of a lady journalist as she lived and as she existed in the minds of her readers is also a vivid picture of Victorian home life and its attendant anxieties nostalgia and aspirations not so different from those felt in America today. North Americans may not know of the famous Mrs Beeton but her 1861 book The Book of Household Management has lasted in various editions into modern times in Great Britain and it's still considered the premier compendium of Victorian housekeeping and cookery; in the meantime the person of Mrs Beeton herself has been mythologized beyond recognition In The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton Kathryn Hughes has created a wonderful biographical portrait of the real woman who lived a short and hectic life She died at age 28 of puerperal fever following the birth of her second surviving son but had numerous miscarriages and a couple of live births that did not survive due to the syphilis with which her husband Sam had infected her upon their marriage; who would have suspected such an ignominious and tawdry life story about a figure who became so iconic and emblematic of early Victorian times and society Hughes does a marvelous job of bringing this woman to life along with her numerous relations her husband and his numerous relations and business rivals and partners I've always enjoyed history not the dates of wars and names of generals type of history but the this is how people in this society in this time lived and died form of retelling past times and Hughes uses a great many primary sources she was able to buy all the extant letters between the various parties for example and sheds light on secondary sources such as the biography written by Beeton's great niece Nancy Spain an interesting character in her own right As a reviewer in the Observer put it this biography is so masterful and scholarly and wise there will never need to be another Recommended

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The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton: The First Domestic Goddess Review ¼ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ↠ In Victorian England there was only one fail safe authority on matters ranging from fashion to puddings to scullery maids Beetonâ€In Victorian England there was only one fail safe authority on matters ranging from fashion to puddings to scullery maids Beeton’s Book of Household Management In this delightful superbly researched biography award winning historian Kathryn Hughes pulls back the lace curtains to reveal the woman behind the book Mrs Beeton the first domestic diva of the modern age and explores the life of the book itselfIsabella Beeton was a twenty one year old newlywed with only six months’ experience running her own home when coaxed by her husband a struggling publisher she began to compile her book of recipes and domestic advice The aspi. 45 Not simply a very good popular biography a fascinating social history of the Victorian up and coming middle class in London and the south east a history of mid nineteenth century publishing and a survey of British home cooking trends of the past 200 years using the life of Mrs Beeton and related historiography as a focus The clue is in the title Isabella isn't even alive for substantial chunks of the book Tristram Shandy like After all she only lived to be 28 and her work was an anthology which wouldn't gain its full influence until decades later plus some magazine journalismVictorian history is one of the eras I like least but Kathryn Hughes writes about it so well that from her I enjoy it as much as many others do At one point she comments on a historiographical trend I fully admit subscribing to once again the long eighteenth century has been reinvented as an era of social sexual and 'modern' freedoms scandalously stamped upon by the bad tempered repressive and philistine Victorians Though I certainly acknowledge that the C18th judicial system was brutal executing people for trifles theft of and that political representation left plenty to be desired I loved Hughes' biography of George Eliot still can't fathom why I got rid of my copy bought the first edition hardback and paperback of her Mrs B in 2005 and 2006 respectively but didn't manage to read it all the way through until now In 05 07 I was too tired and too busy to finish it plus I felt an unwanted doominess from reading it near the age that the subject died Was uite shocked to see that Hughes hasn't published anything substantial since – I hoped and assumed there would be at least one great biog to read by nowIf she has any fault as a historian it's inferring and extrapolating a little too much in ways that suit her Occasionally I imagined imitating my excellent sixth form history tutors underlining a sentence or two and writing “tenuous” “tendentious” or both above But this is a biography for general sale all the press praise comes from newspapers not historical journals and these leaps of interpretation are part of what make it great fun to read and not merely a dry recitation of what is actually contained in the scant and sometimes conflicting extant evidence about Isabella Beeton If that's what you care about though Hughes also makes it pretty clear what is and isn't there She was so dedicated to the project she even bought many of the Beetons' papers to stop them being suirrelled away by private collectors who wouldn't allow research accessIt's a very British book assuming the reader will have heard of cookery writers such as Delia Smith Elizabeth David and Clarissa Dickson Wright as well understanding various other cultural tropes and agreeing that the reputation and what's effectively franchising of Mrs Beeton is just as interesting as the woman herself This presumably explains the various negative reviews on here from Americans who read the book after seeing a TV programmeThere's a good survey of how previous biographers or less under the control of Beeton relatives have treated Mr and Mrs B and their various biases Hughes seems to aim for balance but I get the impression that though not so strongly as Nancy Spain whom I'd definitely somehow heard of even before the first time I opened this book she is angled slightly against Isabella's husband Sam Though I have a bias of my own seeing in the partnership of organiser Isabella by turns highly capable and emotionally needy with the mercurial slightly rakish idea driven Sam something of the relationships that meant most to me However in her letters she bossily says things I'd have been too scared to say to such a type Most of the failings placed at Sam's door can be seen as features of the time That Victorian doctors said syphilis ceased to be infectious after only two years not the correct five and the lack of effective understanding of prevention or any cure of same isn't the fault of one sufferer In work he was already unusual in involving Isabella in many aspects of his publishing business but her involvement was still undoubtedly constrained by general views on the role of women if she had an even greater say in the financial management and deal making it is likely that it would have done much better during her lifetime at least He was a big picture creative type not an accountant and detail manager and that type can do fine if they let someone capable handle the practical and money stuff for them Incidentally besides the famous Book of Household Management he also started that another staple of the British Imperial establishment Boy's Own magazine Privately progressive in his politics he made wily choices of market driven respectability but these publications would be sold on due to bankruptcy His old canniness about public taste gave way as the neurological effects of tertiary syphilis in his final years made him uninhibited about publishing politically radical satires and erotic readers' letters – on tight lacing fetish and whipping in the publications he continued to manage; he also became excessively litigiousIt wasn't one of Hughes' aims but this book even when I only read the first half years ago gave me a new understanding of Victorian prudery The insistence that middle class men be able to provide and furnish a house for their wives meant that they often didn't marry until they were 30 In the meantime many of them had sex with prostitutes and caught syphilis Advised by doctors that if they waited two years they wouldn't infect their virginal bride who'd been dutifully bored ignorant and cloistered in her parents' house they married after that time and infected the poor woman too who generally had a string of miscarriages for the next five to seven years After that time healthy children were a possibility but one or both parents might still succumb to tertiary syphilis Isabella Beeton died not of that but of puerperal fever after giving birth to her second healthy child – and she'd been fit and healthy enough to go hillwalking a few weeks earlier The Beetons' were blighted by infectious disease Increased awareness of the prevalence of syphilis and its effects especially among campaigers for women before effective prevention and cure were available was evidently a part of what drove the notorious puritanism of the nineteenth century itself an understandable progression from the various currents of thought existing at the timeHughes has a careful eye for the peculiarities of contemporary concepts of plagiarism and copyright in which academic culture and postmodernism acknowledge the patchwork nature of texts yet there is great legal stringency and decrying of unoriginality in certain areas I thought of GR posts in which someone might use multiple reaction gifs from TV shows in response to a YA author being accused of plagiarism Mrs Beeton had from the 1990s onwards been uite freuently criticised – when she might have been a greater part of the domesticity revival – because she lifted much of her material from other sources especially Eliza Acton Acton however was only one of many books she used; Acton and most other cookery writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century copied a lot Mrs B wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary for her time – her book just got lucky in becoming the most famous I described it as an anthology at the beginning of the post which seemed the best way to reflect that it was short on original material yet still legit I've been drawn most to this book at times when I've found my own horizons narrowed towards prim domestic occupation First time round though I didn't have the energy to finish the book – I had managed to stay in a job for than six months without having to take huge amounts of sick leave – though a few months later I'd have to leave whilst taking three months to recover from a severe flu was resigned to a make do relationship I should never have been in at all and spent my weekends doing housework because I barely had the energy to move in the evenings it took me a whole weekend with rests just to clean a one bedroom flat Not much later when things were exciting again I wanted to have read it because I realised that my low energy levels and liking for detail – though not my natural interests made me a good fit for fashionable cupcake domesticity but again I couldn't manage to read a big book like this and do much else Hughes points out that domesticity became fashionable again only when it could be voluntary The yummy mummies are like Marie Antoinette playing shepherdess I've long cynically thought – being someone who simply finds intellectual or artistic occupations and life out in the world interesting and who doesn't consider she should value boring stuff just because it was traditionally female The trendiness and imagery around cookery and housework even if it is a bit twee can at least make it or a frugal version of it seem like a consolation prize rather than mere drudgery when very little else is possible Whether it's because of health or those who are stuck because of unemployment or because the job wouldn't pay for the childcare Sceptical yes though I confess and am lucky enough to have been able to afford I bought a fucking Boden jumper recently albeit second hand It was brighter and less depressing than the grey and brown ones