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  • Image of front cover of The Shorter Mrs. Beeton, covered in a dark blue marbled jacket with quarter binding and a central white panel illustrated with pies and puddings.
  • The double-page spread listing the Contents of The Shorter Mrs. Beeton is decorated in colour with red grapes, platters of sea food and an array of puddings and fruit. The 16 chapters run from Soups and Fish through to Bread, Biscuits and Cakes.
  • At the beginning of Chapter 8 of The Shorter Mrs. Beeton, on Vegetables, a full-page colour photograph displays a green hand cart and a trug with parsnips, leeks, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms, celery and tomatoes.
  • This double-page spread from Chapter 9 on Paddings and Pastry indicates how The Shorter Mrs. Beeton has retained the single column of her first edition of 1861 and moved her marginal notes and line drawings out to side columns, creating room for new colour photography such as, here, a table display of vol-vents, jelly moulds, pudding basins and ingredients for boiled puddings.
  • On this double-page spread from Chapter 9 of The Shorter Mrs. Beeton are six recipes for tarts and pies, including Baked Apple Dumplings and Bakewell Pudding, with line drawings of quince and rhubarb and an open tart mould.
  • Chapter 11 of The Shorter Mrs. Beeton opens with a full-page colour photograph of fruit, compotes and jams, preserving pans, pots and jars and a dissertation on the history and preparation of Confectionery, Ices and Dessert Dishes.
  • On these two pages from Chapter 12 of The Shorter Mrs. Beeton, on Milk, Butter, Cheese and Eggs, are six recipes for basics such as Welsh Rarebit, Cheese Sandwiches and even To Boil Eggs, along with a colour photograph of Cayenne Cheeses and Cheese Ramekins.
  • The first two pages of Chapter 14 of The Shorter Mrs. Beeton, on Beverages, are dominated by a full-page colour photograph from a butler’s pantry incorporating a wine rack, decanters and rummers, a silver-plated champagne bucket, corkscrew, cup of coffee and dessert plate with an apple and dessert knife.
  • On these two pages from Chapter 15 of The Shorter Mrs. Beeton, on Dinners and Dining, sample menus are laid out on cream backgrounds for a November Service à La Russe and a Game Dinner.
  • On these two pages from Chapter 16 of The Shorter Mrs. Beeton, on Household Management, advice is given on handling Male Domestics, including The Footman, The Coachman, Groom and Stable Boy, accompanied by a colour photograph of Claret Cup on the butler’s sideboard.
    • “As well as more than 150 of the original delicate line drawings, the book contains 100 photographs of the food prepared by today’s top chefs. The result is a glorious evocation of the best of Mrs. Beeton, beautifully designed and thoughtfully put together.”
      Cotswold Life

    The Shorter Mrs. Beeton

    New Concise Edition


    These 400 carefully selected recipes are designed to suit a modern, busy household. The newly commissioned colour photographs faithfully follow Mrs. Beeton’s own advice on presentation and table decoration, rounding off a perfect picture of traditional English cooking.

    • RRP: £14.95
    • Format: 274 mm x 207 mm (10 4/5 x 8 1/5 in)
    • Pages: 240
    • Weight: 1.2 kg (2.6 lb)
    • Pictures: 150 b/w and 85 colour
    • Binding: Hardback
    • ISBN: 978 0 7063 6563 4
    • Publication: 1987

    Mrs. Beeton is an institution. More than a hundred years after The Book of Household Management first appeared, early editions of her great original are still in print, and new editions have been appearing ever since. This concise edition, The Shorter Mrs. Beeton, reveals Isabella Beeton in her original youth and freshness. Gone are the many additions by later hands. In their place comes a manageable cookery book of 240 pages and 400 recipes containing the pure and original Mrs. Beeton.



    Chapter 1: Management and Economy of the Kitchen

    Chapter 2: Soups

    Chapter 3: Fish

    Chapter 4: Sauces, Pickles, Gravies, and Forcemeats

    Chapter 5: Meat

    Chapter 6: Poultry

    Chapter 7: Game

    Chapter 8: Vegetables

    Chapter 9: Puddings and Pastry

    Chapter 10: Creams, Jellies, Soufflés, Omelettes, and Sweet Dishes

    Chapter 11: Preserves, Confectionery, Ices, and Dessert Dishes

    Chapter 12: Milk, Butter, Cheese, and Eggs

    Chapter 13: Bread, Biscuits, and Cakes

    Chapter 14: Beverages

    Chapter 15: Dinners and Dining

    Chapter 16: Household Management



    Weights, Measures, and Oven Temperatures


    Photograph of Isabella Mary Beeton, Author of Sheldrake's The Smaller Mrs. Beeton

    Mrs Beeton was born Isabella Mary Mayson in 1836. She married the publisher Samuel Orchard Beeton when she was 20, and within eight months of her marriage she was editing both the cookery and the household columns of her husband’s Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. It was at Sam Beeton’s suggestion that she began collecting recipes for a book on household management. The first instalment of The Book of Household Management was published in 1859, and the rest followed in monthly intervals. She died of puerperal fever a week after the birth of her fourth child, at the age of 28.

    Photo of stewpan and recipe book.

    The Kitchen, it must be remembered, is the great laboratory of every household. A good kitchen, therefore, should be erected with a view to the following particulars. 1. Convenience of distribution in its parts, with largeness of dimension. 2. Excellence of light, height of ceiling, and good ventilation. 3. Easiness of access, without passing through the house. 4. Sufficient remoteness from the principal apartments of the house, that the members, visitors, or guests of the family may not perceive the odour incident to cooking, or hear the noise of culinary operations. 5. Plenty of fuel and water which, with the scullery, pantry and storeroom, should be near it so as to offer the smallest possible trouble in reaching them.

    It has been asserted that English cookery is, nationally speaking, far from being the best in the world. More than this, we have been frequently told by brilliant foreign writers, half philosophers, half chefs, that we are the worst cooks on the face of the earth, and that the proverb which alludes to the divine origin of food and the precisely opposite origin of its preparers, is peculiarly applicable to us islanders. Not, however, to the inhabitants of the whole island; for it is stated in a work which treats of culinary operations north of the Tweed that the “broth” of Scotland claims, for excellence and wholesomeness, a very close second place to the bouillon or common soup of France. We are glad to note, however, that soups of vegetables, fish, meat, and game are now very frequently found in the homes of the English middle classes, as well as in the mansions of the wealthier and more aristocratic; and we take this to be evidence that we are on the right road to an improvement in our system of cookery.

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