Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mrs. Beeton Everywhere You Look

"Do you remember Mrs Beeton's illustration for a simple supper party? Three epergnes of red roses down the centre, and smilax trailing everywhere?"

"Our old edition had a picture of a tray for an invalid," recalled Amy. "There were two trumpet-shaped flower vases with carnations, as well as two or three dishes complete with silver covers, a coffeee pot, milk jug and sugar bowl. I don't think you could lift the thing, let alone stagger upstairs with it. But I must say it looked superb."

"I pity anyone being taken ill at my house. A plate of toast and a mug of tea would about be my limit."

Village Centernary, by Miss Read

I missed the Masterpiece Theater a couple of weeks ago about Mrs. Beeton, a Victorian-age Betty Crocker/Heloise/Miss Manners type. You can read about her here.

Village Centenary is set in 1980, so you can see how wide-spread an influence Mrs. Beeton's book enjoyed. Here in our house, it would be poached eggs on toast and 7-up, but most probably served on the couch, so Mama can still run things. Otherwise, of course, everyone would be In My Room, and recovery would be delayed, anyway....

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