Monday, 6 February 2012

Monday's Words of Wisdom from Mrs Beeton

The Housewife

 Although this word may be used to describe any mistress of a household, it does seem more fittingly applied to those who personally conduct their domestic affairs than to others who govern with the assistance of a large staff of well-trained servants.  Times have changed since 1766, when Goldsmith wrote extolling home virtues; and in few things is the change more marked than in woman's sphere; but a woman should not be less careful in her management or blameless in her life because the spirit of the age gives her greater scope for her activities.  Busy housewives should be encouraged to find time in the midst of domestic cares for the recreation and social intercourse which are necessary to the well-being of all.  A woman's home should be first and foremost in her life, but if she allow household cares entirely to occupy her thoughts, she is apt to become narrow in her interests and sympathies, a condition not conducive to domestic happiness.  To some overworked women but little rest or recreation may seem possible, but, generally speaking, the leisure to be enjoyed depends upon proper methods of work, punctuality and early rising.  

Take from that what you will!

Back soon with treasures from the Maltings, an astounding 'Ta-Dah!' and a giveaway!


  1. Well, I'm certainly glad that I live in this day and age!

    I too love to look into these old books for housewives it makes you think.

    Have a good week

  2. Loved hearing that old advice.

  3. Love it! I have that very same Mrs Beeton's book on your shelf and it makes brilliant reading. Do tell me about the Maltings. I've seen you write about it before. Is it a market place and when is it held? I think I've read it's in Farnham or Farnborough.

    1. The Maltings is in Farnham - it's an arts centre. The market there is held on the 1st Saturday of most months (just occasionally it's on the second, for example when Jan 1st is a Saturday) and there are about 200 stalls (mostly indoors) selling antiques, crafts, jewellery, produce and such like. I love going, whether I'm selling or not!

    2. Thanks Alix, I might have to go along there one day if I'm in the area. We have friends who live in Surrrey.

  4. What happens to the housewife when she tries her level best not to let domestic matters interfere with her social life. The market sounds just up my street, pity it is so far away.

  5. How wonderful! I think I fail on the early rising . . .

    Pomona x

  6. I feel so lucky to be able to be a housewife. I am very old fashioned in my thinking but feel it is such an important profession while in Holland you are considered socially unacceptable to admit you are "simply a housewife". Let me be unacceptable and admit that I was born in the wrong time. :-)

    Hugs from Holland ~

  7. Ha! I love a little bit of social intercourse !!!
    My mother seemed to be such a fifties' wife - copies of Mrs Beeton & Dr Spock followed carefully to begin with but she was also a trained teacher & had her own mind !
    Me ?... I go with the flow !!!