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Mrs Beetons Household Management Wonderful Colour Illustrations

Updated on October 4, 2014

Welcome. This lense contains a selection of Mrs Beetons Food Illustrations (in colour).

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management was first published as a book in 1861 and was a guide to the running of a Victorian household.

Mrs Beeton's book contains over 900 recipes and used coloured plates to illustrate some of her recipes.

This lense is dedicated to a selection of the wonderful colour plates contained within the book. The high quality colour plates were used to illustrate Mrs Beeton's book and today these colour plates are collected in their own right.

The picture here is an advert from the 1909 version of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.

Anna Madeley as Mrs Beeton
Anna Madeley as Mrs Beeton

Who was Mrs Beeton?

Isabella Mary Beeton was born 12th March 1836 in London, England.

In 1856, Isabella married and shortly after she began writing articles on cooking and household management for her husband, Samuel who was a publisher.

By October 1861, a series of Isabella's monthly magazine supplements were published as a single volume - The Book of Household Management containing over 1,100 pages.

Isabella Beeton died young at only 28 after contracting a fever.

The picture above is from a 2006 BBC television broadcast "The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton" with Anna Madeley in the lead role.

How was Mrs Beeton received in her own time?

By 1909 and the release of the new edition of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, Mrs Beeton had been considered "the guide, philosopher and friend of countless happy homes." ....."Her Household Management had appeared amongst the wedding presents of a bride as surely as the salt cellars, and thousands of thousands of grateful letters testify that it has often proved the most useful gift of all"

source: preface of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management - 1909

I love this quote from the preface of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management 1909:

"I must frankly own that, if I had known beforehand the labour which this book has entailed, I should never have been courageous enough to commence it. What moved me, in the first instance, to attempt a work like this, was the discomfort and suffering I have seen brought about by household mis-management I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways."

Did you know: Mrs Beeton was from a family with 21 children? Mrs Beeton was the eldest of 4 from her mothers first marriage. After the death of Mrs Beetons father, her mother remarried a widower with 4 children of his own, and together the couple went on to have 13 more children of their own.



Mrs Beeton states:

"The average cook imagines that the the goodness of a soup depends upon the weight of meat she puts into it, and upon the size of the fire over which it is boiled."

Mrs Beetons Soups Illustration
Mrs Beetons Soups Illustration


Mrs Beeton's states that there are "between 500 and 600 different soups." These range from stocks for all kind of soups - Bone Stock, Brown Stock, Fish Stock etc. to Broths such as Sheeps Head Broth. I particularly like some of the more unusual named soups such as:

Good Womans Soup, Benevolent Soup & Sour Cherry Soup.

Mrs Beetons recipe for Custard for soup:

Ingredients. - 2 whole eggs, 2 yolks of eggs, 1 gill of white stock, salt and pepper.


Beat up the eggs in a basin, add the stock, and season with salt and pepper and a little grated nutmeg.

Strain this into a well -buttered plain tin mould; stand it in a stew pan containing a little boiled water, cover the mould with a buttered paper, and let it poach in a moderately heated oven for 20 minutes.

When done, take out the mould and put it in a cool place.

Turn out when cold, and cut the custard into dice, cubes or other fanciful shapes (known as Royal).

Use for garnish in clear or thick soups.

Sufficient for 3 or 4 quarts of soup.

picture credit: Bejeezers


Good Womans Soup


1 quart of white stock, 1 white-heart lettuce, 1 thick slice of cucumber (the length of which must equal the breadth of the cucumber, so that a square block may be cut), a little tarragon and chervil (these may be omitted when not easily procurable), 1 oz. of butter, the yolks of 2 eggs, 1/4 of a pint of cream or milk, salt and pepper.


Wash and shred the lettuce finely, cut the block of cucumber lengthwise into thin slices, and the slices into match-like strips. Melt the butter, and fry the vegetables for 5 or 6 minutes, then add the stock, salt and pepper, and boil slowly until the lettuce is tender (10 to 15 minutes). Beat the yolks of the eggs, add to them the cream or milk.

Let the soup cool slightly, then pour in the yolks and cream, and stir until the soup thickens, but it MUST NOT BOIL or the eggs will curdle.

Time to prepare and cool, about 40 minutes.

Sufficient for 4 persons.

Creamy Potatoe Soup - By Jason Hill

Toddler Apron & Chef set. - For your little helper in the kitchen.

Toddler White Chef Apron & Hat XS
Toddler White Chef Apron & Hat XS

Toddler apron and hat chef set can be embellished

Fun for helping in the kitchen

Soft touch closure on hat

Apron measures approx. 18" long x 15" wide

Ties around waist



Mrs Beeton states:

The quality of fish depends very much on the nature of their food, As a rule, fish caught in the open sea are preferable to those living off headlands or in an island sea, with slow current and shallow water."

Mrs Beeton's Fish Illustration
Mrs Beeton's Fish Illustration

Mrs Beeton's recipe for Cod Pie.


1 and a half pounds of cold cod, 1 dozen oysters (tinned may be used), 1/2 a pint of melted butter sauce, 1/2a lb of short paste or mashed potatoe, salt and pepper, nutmeg.


Take off the beards of the oysters, simmer them for a few minutes in a little water, then strain and mix with the oyster liquer (from fresh oysters). Cut the oysters into 2 or 4 pieces, according to size ; divide the fish into large flakes, put half of it into the dish, lay the oysters on the top, season with salt and pepper, grate on a little nutmeg, add the melted butter sauce, and cover with the rest of the fish. Make the short crust paste, or when a potatoe covering is preferred, season the potatoe with salt and pepper, and warm and stir in a saucepan, with a small piece of butter, and 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk. Bake about 1/2 an hour in a moderate oven.

Time - from 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours.

Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.

picture credit Bejeezers

Mrs Beeton's Fish Illustration
Mrs Beeton's Fish Illustration

Chapter 11 is titled FISH and contains the average prices & general directions for preparing and cooking fish dishes. I enjoyed the section on "Reptiles as Food" which goes on to describe Turtles and edible frogs as food.

A recipe from Mrs Beeton for Fish Pie.


1lb each of cold fish and mashed potatoes, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs, and 4 ozs of finely-chopped suet, enough milk to reduce the mixture to the consistency of very thick batter, salt and pepper.


Chop the fish coarsely, mix it with the potatoes and suet, add a liberal seasoning of salt and pepper, the eggs and milk, and beat well.

Turn to a greased pie dish, and cook in a moderate oven for 75 minutes to 90 minutes.

Serve in the dish in which is is baked.

Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons.

Mrs Beeton's recipe for Baked Conger Eel


2lb of conger eel, suet-force (sauce), butter or fat & flour.


Wash and dry the fish thoroughly, stuff it with the prepared forcemeat, and bind it with tape. Melt the butter or fat in a baking dish or tin, put in the fish, and baste it well. Bake gently for 1 hour, meanwhile basting occasionally with fat, and dredging the surface with flour.

Serve with the gravy poured round, or, if preferred, with tomato, brown caper, or a suitable fish sauce.

Time to bake, 1 hour. Suitable for 4 or 5 persons.

Coloured plate from Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management:

1. Red Mullet,

2. Grayling,

3. John Dory,

4. Mackerel,

5. Cod,

6. Whiting,

7. Salmon,

8. Herring,

9. Plaice,

10. Flounder

11. Gurnet,

12. Crayfish

Mrs Beeton's recipe for Fish Cakes from Tinned Salmon


1 tin of salmon, 1 lb of mashed potatoe, milk, 1 egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, frying fat, parsley.


When using cold potatoe stir it over the fire with a little milk until hot and smooth. Chop the fish coarsely, add it to the potatoe, season to taste and stir over the fire until thoroughly mixed, adding a little milk if too dry. Let the mixture cool on a plate, then shape into small round cakes, coat carefully with egg and breadcrumbs, and fry in hot fat until lightly browned. Drain well, and serve garnished with crisply-fried parsley.

Time - Altogether, 1 and a half hours.

Coloured plate from Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management:

1. Oyster Patties,

2. Whiting,

3. Turbot,

4. Whitebait,

5. Mackerel,

6. Mayonnaise Salmon,

7. Lobster,

8. Crab

How the Illustrations are described in the preface to Mrs Beetons Book

"The book has been copiously illustrated in the most useful manner. Hundreds of photographic reproductions of actual dishes, processes, and materials have been included. No expense, however great, has been spared in obtaining the best possible results. The numerous coloured plates have been faithfully reproduced from nature, and printed in fourteen colours in the highest style of lithographic art."

English Fish and Chips - Brought to you by Tom Aitkins

OXO Good Grips Fish Turner

OXO Good Grips Fish Turner
OXO Good Grips Fish Turner

The OXO Good Grips Fish Turner lets you lift, flip and transfer fish while keeping it intact. Use this handy tool for whole fish, filets, seafood cakes and more. The beveled edge slide easily beneath foods and the slots in the head allow grease to drain. The durable, stainless steel head is oversized for larger fish and the soft handle allows for a comfortable grip. Dishwasher safe.



Smaller savoury meals that are served ahead of the main course.

Coloured plate from Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management:

1. Toulouse Party,

2. Fillets of Beef,

3. Beef Gallantine,

4. Zephires of Duck,

5. Mutton Cullets in Aspic,

6. Saute of Veal,

7. Chartreuse of Pheasant,

8. Curried Veal,

9. Chicken Medaillons,

10. Veal Stew.


Mrs Beeton states:

"Roasting, baking, boiling, stewing, braising, frying, and grilling are the usual methods of cooking animal food. To explain the philosophy of these simple operations, we must notice the effects that are produced by heat on the principle constitutents of flesh."

Chapter 14 is titled: "GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON QUADRUPEDS" and contains general notes on Mammalia and the different breeds of cattle and their characteristics.

Coloured Plate from Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management:

1. Sirlion of Beef,

2. Boiled Beef,

3. Aitchbone of Beef,

4. Roast Ribs of Beef

Coloured plate from Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management:

1. Leg of Mutton,

2. Saddle of Lamb,

3. Shoulder of Mutton,

4. Boiled Leg of Mutton and Turnips

Coloured plate from Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management:

1. Haunch of Venison,

2. Leg of Pork,

3. York Ham,

4. Calfs Head

Roasted Beef Short Ribs - From The Silver Chef

Remember to turn on the sound....the accompanying music track is great listening.


Mrs Beeton states:

Few domestic animals are so profitable or so useful to man as the much maligned pig, and no other yields him a more varied or more luxurious repast."

Coloured Plate from Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management:

1. Side,

2. Forelock,

3. Collar,

4. Streaky,

5. Prime Back,

6. Small Back,

7. Flank Long Back,

8. Gammon,

9. Corner,

10. York Ham,

11. Mild Cured Ham.


One of Mrs Beeton's recipes for Chicken Salad:

Ingredients: Cold Chicken (roast tor boiled) cut into joints or pieces if boned ; to 4 tablespoonfuls allow 2 tablespoonfuls of finely shredded celery, 1 tablespoonful of finely shredded white of hard boiled egg, 4 tablespoonfuls of Mayonaisse sauce, 1 dessertspoonful of salad oil, 1 dessertspoonful of vinegar, a half a teaspoonful of salt. a quarter of a teaspoonful of pepper.

For garnishing: pickled gherkins, capers, fillets of anchovy, stoned french olives, lettuce.


Mix the shredded chicken, celery, and white of egg together, in a bowl, stir in the salad oil and vinegar, season with the salt and pepper and let

the mixture stand for 1 hour.

When ready to serve, stir in the Mayonaisse sauce, range the salad in a dish on a bed of fresh lettuce, garnish with the surface with the gherkins, capers, anchovys, olives and if liked, the yolks of eggs, previously rubbed through a fine sieve.

Sufficient for 5 persons.

Time for a bit of humour - The Chicken Dance

Mrs Beetons Game Illustrations

Mrs Beeton states:

"All water birds should be eaten as fresh as possible, because their flesh is oily and soon becomes rank. Most game is kept until putrefaction has commenced, it being thought that the flavour is thereby developed."

Coloured Plate from Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management:

1. Pheasants,

2. Plovers,

3. Wild Duck,

4. Roast Hare.

The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton - starring Anna Madeley

Masterpiece Theatre - Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton
Masterpiece Theatre - Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton

Just as Nigella Lawson and Martha Stewart have turned Americans and Britons into nations of wannabe domestic goddesses, the Victorians had their own preacher in the shape of Mrs. Isabella Beeton.


Why not take part in my poll? - Its a bit of fun.

Mrs Beeton is better remembered for her recipes or her general household management tips?

See results

I hope that you have enjoyed this lense. - Please leave me your feedback - it is always welcomed.

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    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 3 years ago

      @goldenrulecomics: Thank you.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 3 years ago

      Nicely done

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great lens!

    • M Sankey profile image

      M Sankey 5 years ago

      We are not sure exactly who is responsible for the content of Mrs Beeton's books. She would have had servants and her husband was a publisher, but this is a great lense.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Loved this lens. I've always heard of Mrs. Beeton's books, but never actually read one. I love old books and old recipes.

    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 5 years ago

      Thanks for this Lens - I've read about Mrs. Beaton's book many times, so it was interesting to learn more about it.

    • SquidooPower profile image

      SquidooPower 5 years ago

      L-O-V-E potato soup! (hint: put tabasco sauce in it)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I love vintage illustrations like these. Really nice!

    • profile image

      DigitalBuilder 6 years ago

      Excellent Lens!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I love vintage books, and do collect antique color plates. It's the first time I hear about this Mrs Beeton, it's fun trip back in time. But I enjoyed particularly the beautiful color plates

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Interesting story about Mrs. Beeton, and a nice selection of recipes. I had not heard of her before, but then I'm not much of a cook, so seldom read through cookbooks! :-)

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 6 years ago

      Wonderfully put together page, loved the Mrs. Beeton color illustrations. I often refer to her cookery book (1920ish), especially for the unique wording.

      PS Seems some HTML is jumbled up about 1/3 of the way down your page...I bet it is something from AllPosters :)

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      fantastic idea - well done!!

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 6 years ago

      I've seen Mrs. Beeton before. You've done an excellent job introducing her here. I just love the photos. Blessed by a Squid Angel today.

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 6 years ago from London

      I've seen Mrs Beeton before - we used to have one at home but I can't remember whether it had colour pages - I rather think not. It's fascinating to see those colour illustrations

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 6 years ago

      Very interesting! I really enjoy reading old books like that. Don't have a CLUE what she's talking about half the time, but maybe that's what sparks the intrigue - because it IS so different :-D. Thanks for sharing!

    • JakTraks profile image

      Jacqueline Marshall 6 years ago from Chicago area

      Never knew about Mrs. Beeton until now - probably because I don't cook much. Excellent lens.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 6 years ago

      @mariaamoroso: Thank for you comments. All the illustrations are from Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management published in 1909. Her book contained wonderful pictures - there are more of then on my lens Mrs Beetons Illustrations.

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

      Amazing illustrations! Are they all from her book?

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Very nicely done lens...wonderful illustrations...still can't figure out who did the illustrations

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I enjoyed this Lens. Thanks for putting it together so well. I loved the illustrations!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      Mrs Beeton's recipe for chicken salad sounds mighty tasty. My grandmother used to make tripe and something called finnan haddie ... does Mrs B have recipes?

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      My favorite Mrs Beeton recipe started with words like this. "Take a thin slice of cheese about one inch thick" Ahhh.... the age of innocence... :)

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 6 years ago from Minnesota

      I loved reading this lens. The illustrations are really remarkable and I'm impressed that Mrs. Beeton's husband encouraged her writing. I really think the Good Wife soup looks tasty and might give it a go. Also, the Chicken Salad appeals to me. Nice lens...good job!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i enjoyed this lens. your layout is attractive and some of the above recipes are new varieties. book marked this lens.

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      Very cool to have come up with Mrs Beetons for a lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I really like this, its so creative and original. Thank you for the experience!!!

    • juditpaton profile image

      Iudit Gherghiteanu 6 years ago from Ozun

      wonderful lens!the photos are a bit too much for somebody like me,trying to loose weight, but worth to see such a collection of tempting meals.thank you for your work.

    • Susanne-Iles profile image

      Susanne Iles 6 years ago from Canada

      What a delightful lens!!! I came for the artwork and left with a notebook full of recipes...thank you so much for taking the time to craft such a lovely piece. :)