First edition, first issue of the most famous book in English domestic arts and home cooking of the Victorian era, rare in full contemporary binding without any restoration.
BEETON'S BOOK OF HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT
"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."
Selling an astounding two million copies by 1868, Mrs. Beeton's book grew to such a Victorian household staple that her name became the shorthand for authoritative opinions on home cooking. One of the keys to its success was the presentation of recipes in a standardized form, listing ingredients followed by instructions – a structure we expect today, but which was only rarely used before Beeton. Clocking in at over 1000 pages, copies of this thick, heavily used household manual often show severe structural strain to the spine, and are rarely found in a contemporary binding without repair, as here. An exceptional copy.
Read more: Bitting, Gastronomic Bibliography, 32; Cagle, A Matter of Taste: A Bibliographical Catalogue of International Books on Food and Drink in the Lilly Library, Indiana University, 561.
London: S.O. Beeton, 1861. Octavo. 7'' x 4.25''. Contemporary full calf, boards ruled in gilt and blind, raised bands, gilt-lettered and -ruled spine. Marbled endpapers, all edges marbled. Illustrated with color frontispiece and engraved color title page (address "18 Bouverie St."), plus 12 full-page color plates. 4 pages of ads inserted after page 864. xl, 1112 pages. Some wear to binding, largely unobtrustive. Text clean, with just a bit of foxing to plates.
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