Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Needlework

September 27, 2009

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Mrs. BeetonThis reproduction of the original book does an adequate job of covering the important needlework topics of its’ day. Published in 1870, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Needlework includes descriptions of and instructions for tatting, embroidery, knitting, crochet, and point lace; which was a new technique at that time. The book also boosts six hundred engravings.  

“Mrs. Beeton” was Isabella Beeton who was best known for writing Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management. She was 19 years old when she married Samuel Beeton, who owned the book’s publishing company, but wrote from the perspective of someone middle aged and more elegant than she. Isabella died in 1865, a full five years before the needlework book was published. Obviously, there was speculation that the book was written by someone else; evidence of which can be found in the book’s preface. Mr Beeton noted that “other hands have brought to a conclusion her original plans…the best attainable workers have contributed to this volume.”

Interestingly, this book can be read in its’ entirety on the Internet. Check out http://www.beetonsbookofneedlework.com to look at it. Of course, if you would rather read it in the more traditional fashion, it can also be purchased from used book stores or on-line retailers.       

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