London: S.O. Beeton, 248, Strand, W.C.; Cox & Wyman, Printers, 1861.
Thick, small octavo (17.5 x 11 cm.), xxxix, 1112 pages. Illustrated with a color frontispiece and engraved title, and with additional twelve color plates and engravings in the text. FIRST EDITION, first issue in book form (with "18 Bouverie St." on the illustrated title page). Preceded by the very rare issue in twenty-four monthly parts, issued November 1859-1861. Perhaps the most famous of English cookery books, and emblematic of Victorian home life. The Book of Household Management is not only exhaustive, with 2751 recipes, formulas, and instructions for all aspects of household management, but it also is one of the earliest cookbooks to use color illustration (Bitting). The twelve color plates are from the first issue, before the salmon colored background was added. It is also one of the earliest cookbooks - certainly on this scale - to use the standard recipe format which is now expected, with ingredients first, followed by step-by-step instructions. Some light foxing throughout; trimmed during re-binding and fore edges of a few pages, just touching the printed areas of the title, engraved title, and frontis. Frontispiece is soiled, and has had paper repair to a one-inch square chip to the upper right corner. Rebound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in full, dark green morocco; gilt-ruled boards, and raised bands and gilt-compartmented spine. Some rubbing to the high point of the raised bands. Overall very good. A handsome copy of a landmark cookery book. [OCLC records fifty-eight copies; Bitting, page 32; Cagle 561 (also see 560a); not in Vicaire]. this book has more wisdom to the square inch than any work of man - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle