Isabella Beeton would smile to hear herself called a "household" name. Her books on Household Management gave practical advice to many woman. She shared sensible information on many subjects from laundry to lace.
Mrs. Beeton's original book.
Mrs. Beeton's gilded pages of original book.
This description of her book was given.
"BEETON'S BOOK OF NEEDLEWORK. CONSISTING OF DESCRIPTIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS, ILLUSTRATED BY SIX HUNDRED ENGRAVINGS, OF TATTING PATTERNS. CROCHET PATTERNS. KNITTING PATTERNS. NETTING PATTERNS. EMBROIDERY PATTERNS. POINT LACE PATTERNS. GUIPURE D'ART. BERLIN WORK. MONOGRAMS. INITIALS AND NAMES. PILLOW LACE, AND LACE STITCHES. Every Pattern and Stitch Described and Engraved with the utmost Accuracy and the Exact Quantity of Material requisite for each Pattern stated.
CHANCELLOR PRESS Beeton's Book of Needlework was originally published in Great Britain in 1870 by Ward, Lock and Tyler."
This preface appeared in the book after her passing.
"SAMUEL BUTLER'S PREFACE
Her great wish was that her BOOK OF NEEDLEWORK should be as valuable in its way to her Countrywomen as her work upon Household Management was useful in showing the best mode of providing for the diurnal wants of families. Other hands have brought to a conclusion her original plans. The best attainable workers have contributed to this volume. Only those who knew the extent of the late Mrs. Beeton's design, will miss, in the pages now before them, "the touch of a vanished hand." S.O.B. Paternoster Row, 1870."
"The needlework called Tatting in England, Frivolitť in French, and Frivolitšten in German, is a work which
seems, from all accounts, to have been in favour several generations ago. Modern ingenuity has discovered
some ways of improving on the original plan of tatting, which was, indeed, rather a primitive sort of business as
first practised. To Mrs. Mee, one of our most accomplished artistes in all matters connected with the worktable,
belongs, we believe, the introduction of the plan of working from the reel instead of the shuttle. By this
alteration the advantage of the shuttle being constantly kept filled with cotton was gained, and the necessity also
obviated for frequently [ii] joining the thread; and to Mdlle. Riego, equally distinguished in all details
appertaining to the employment of the needle, ladies are indebted for an arrangement by which the same thread
used in the making of the pattern is used for fastening the work. The old plan only provided for the working of
the different portions which constituted the pattern, and then these portions had to be sewn together with a
needle and thread..."
Note the acknowledgements of Mlle Riego and Mrs. Mee to the development of tatting, i.e., working with ball and shuttle and joining by the picots instead of sewing picots together.
Mrs. Beeton's original book contained gilded illustrations also and pull out diagrams for some of the patterns of which there are 65 in the tatting section.
All of these lovely illustrations and photos are shared by Jane Eborall.