Isabella Beeton, who was born in London in 1836, is the most famous British woman cookery writer. She was well educated and finished her education in Heidelberg, where she learnt French and German. In 1856 she married Sam Beeton, an enterprising young publisher, and the following year began/started contributing a column on various household matters to his 'The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine'.

It/This was the first of the cheap women's magazines. It pioneered the problem page and medical columns, and introduced dress-making patterns from France to British readers.

When she was only 23 she edited 'Beeton's Book of Household Management'. This was an immense work, containing more than 3,000 recipes as well as advice on instructing servants, nursing, legal matters, good manners and bringing up babies. Many of the recipes were contributed by the readers of 'The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine' and others were simply taken from previous cookery writers.

The chapters on specialist topics were written anonymously by a doctor, a lawyer and other experts. But even though Mrs Beeton herself was not a creative cook, the editing work that she did on the book is a great achievement for someone/one so young. She died at the age of 28 after the birth of her fourth son.


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