Although undated, this text probably was probably originally published in the mid-19th century - the author's previous publication ("Manners and Rules of Good Society") was in its 35th edition in 1914 and probably published in the 1850s - and the anonymous author is usually described as a 'member of the aristocracy', this suggesting some expertise in the subjects covered. The book would have been a permanent fixture in any housewife's or housekeeper's library, offering as it does a comprehensive description of all indoor and outdoor domestic activities, from butlers, footmen, housemaids and cooks to coachmen, gardeners and gamekeepers. The language is of course somewhat convoluted, but every possible detail and potential scenario is covered, and a fascinating picture of Victorian domestic life emerges to entrance the modern reader.
Although undated, we are confident that our book is later than the third edition which was in a more high Victorian style. It is much more Edwardian in its design and revisions of the text and advice. Bound in russet brown boards with black embossed titles and home interior vignette to the front, titles in black also on the spine, it is in very nice condition, with only slight shelf wear to top & tail of spine and bumping of corners. Inside, free endpapers are somewhat browned. Previous owner's name in pencil on front fep, and also at the top of p.24. One or two marks on pp.12-13 (see photo), and pencil annotations on p.16, but no other internal defects. At pp.56-57, however, a newspaper cutting of a marmalade recipe by Katie Stewart has left a brown stain across both pages. The parliamentary report on the reverse gives a date of 1976. The O in 'Contents' has been filled in with dark ink.