The Real Mrs Beeton

The Real Mrs Beeton : The Story of Eliza Acton

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Eliza Acton is the forgotten hero of our culinary past. A debt of gratitude to her is what Delia Smith, Elizabeth David and Mrs Beeton have in common. She was the original and best: the first cook to write recipes in a clear, modern format, one of the few Victorian ladies whose legacy has lasted well into the twenty-first century and whose recipes are still used in thousands of kitchens today. In this absorbing first biography, Sheila Hardy creates a richly painted narrative of how a young woman produced the first cookery book for general use and changed history. She provides a rich background to Eliza's success, not only as the little-known mother of modern cookery, but as a poet and a campaigner for healthy eating. She introduced us to curry, chorizo and gluten-free diets 150 years before they became fashionable. She knew Charles Dickens, and her family life was possibly an inspiration for several of his plots. She had a fascinating career, and this brilliantly researched biography is a must for anyone interested in food and cookery, or simply as an insight into the life of a modern lady who was years ahead of her more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 20.32mm | 439.99g
  • The History Press Ltd
  • Stroud, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0752461222
  • 9780752461229
  • 669,406

About Sheila Hardy

SHEILA HARDY was a teacher and lecturer of English and History before becoming a full-time writer. Her previous biographies include The Story of Anne Candler; Treason's Flame, The Diary of a Suffolk Farmer's Wife and Frances, Lady Nelson: the Life and Times of an Admirable Wife. She has also written numerous histories of her native Suffolk and has given talks in the county for over thirty years. She lives in more

Review quote

'What is the greatest British cookbook of all time? Not Mrs Beeton, given that she pinched most of her recipes from other people. Nor is it Elizabeth David, since she mostly ignored British food - all of these writers owe a debt to a Victorian spinster from Tonbridge - Eliza Acton is not quite a household name. She deserves to be.' Bee Wilson, The Telegraph '[Eliza Acton] is a brilliant subject for exploration and her book is one of the very few from which it is possible to work easily and get wonderful results - I truly rate her.' Dr Annie Gray, Historic Food and Dining ' - she's an amazing subject and worthy of any enquiry - after all, she did write what is still the best cookery book written in the English language.' Jyll Bradley, author of the play Before Mrs Beeton: the Eliza Acton Storyshow more

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