Best-selling author and food writer Sophie Dahl tells the compelling story of Mrs Beeton - one of the most famous food writers in British cooking. Mrs Beeton's Book Of Household Management was once a must-have on the wedding list of every aspirational Victorian bride and it became an instant best-seller when it was first published in 1861.
Isabella Beeton was a fantastically modern woman - one who shaped the appetites and habits of an empire - but little is known about her fascinating life. The Marvellous Mrs Beeton, With Sophie Dahl mixes social history with cookery and storytelling to celebrate the life of this extraordinary woman.
Immersing herself in the world and times of her heroine, Sophie traces the journey of Mrs Beeton from modest childhood to wife, fashion journalist, editor and best-selling author, who died tragically at the age of 28. Along the way, Sophie tries out a few of Mrs Beeton's stalwarts such as carrot jam, pigeon pie and lobster à la Française to see whether they stand the test of time and still appeal to the modern palate.
Sophie also meets experts and historians who still cite Mrs Beeton as a powerful influence in today's society. Sophie cooks centuries-old recipes on a Victorian range with food historian Annie Gray; bakes cakes and biscuits with the Women's Institute; and recreates Mrs Beeton's cold cure with ethno-botanist James Wong.