Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mrs. Beeton and The Martha

Herb is fishing up north of Wawa Ontario somewhere, and I'm right now watching a wonderful juicy Masterpiece Theatre Victorian version of the life of the original 'The Martha' ... Mrs. Isabella Beeton. The actress portraying Mrs. Beeton has a body language and facial expression and control that in her character's times of adversity will touch a chord. From beyond the grave her narration logically analyses and explains her life ... and reveals the human background to her 'Book of Household Management'.
Immediately I thought of the Gutenberg Project, and, applying Google, I found a zip file as well as a fine website allowing us to read the original online... I'd love to find a free online photocopy with the original typeset, like the American Victorian household management book I mentioned in an earlier post from the University of Michigan. Something to put on the to-do list for another day.
I must mention, that when I read 'Just Desserts' years ago, I had a new appreciation of Martha Stewart's rise to fame. There was a human story behind both of these household diva superstars. Never having been a soap fan or a watcher of television celebrity, I'm probably not as jaded as the average American to stories like these.

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