Mrs. Beeton's Household Management

Have you heard of Mrs. Beeton? In the 19th century, Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management was the Victorian homekeeper's bible.
That is one intense book jacket.

You can find the entire text online here. It's worth a read, if only for a chuckle over the way things have changed.  The book is primarily a cookbook, but also opines at some length about social conventions, visiting, managing servants, and caring for invalids.

I mention it because I read a quote from the aforementioned Mrs. Beeton in which she said, "What moved me, in the first instance, to attempt a work like this, was the discomfort and suffering which I had seen brought upon men and women by household mismanagement. I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife's badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways."

Obviously the blame for this no longer lies just at the feet of the housewife. But I'm curious to know, readers, do you think that bad dinners and an untidy house are a source of "family discontent"? Domestic stress? Mr. Scrimp and I certainly seem to have a much better time when things are really clean and organized.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


  1. I ABSOLUTELY think that messiness and icky food can be a cause of "family discontent!" Doesn't everyone feel better when they are in a neat room with a good meal in their bellies? I don't think anything needs to be perfect, and certainly your quality of life isn't going to suffer if your home isn't photograph ready at all times...but tidying up and putting things away doesn't take long at all and making delicious meals is really just as easy (if not easier) as making bad ones.

  2. I wanted to say how glad I am that you have posted. I have missed the Scrimps!

    - and yes, I do think it adds to family harmony when the house is in reasonable order and there is a pleasant (healthy) meal on the table. Especially at the end of a tiring work day. It is encouraging.

  3. Oh my god, YES. I never thought messiness and badly cooked meals could cause that much grief, but that was before I got married. I've realized now, that even though I'm tired while I'm doing the cooking and cleaning, if I put love into it and just get it done, My husband and I are BOTH much happier. We got in so many fights about the stupidest things like laundry at the beginning of our marriage. I used to be really stubborn and ignore it, but ever since I've started doing things routinely, it's like a weight has been lifted off the shoulders of our marriage.

    I actually stumbled upon your site because of this. I was looking for a meal planner to make it a little easier to stay organized, and I found your printable on google images. It took me a while to see that your blog address was printed on the side of it, but I'm glad I did, you've got some nifty posts!



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