Wife beating in Victorian England …The ‘Rule of Thumb’ …

Ever wondered where the term, ‘Rule of thumb’ came from? It derived from old British legal traditions which considered a husband the ruler of his wife. Once married a husband could be held legally liable for his wife’s conduct in early modern times and as such, it was a widely held belief a husband could strike his wife for ‘lawful correction’ or to ‘order and to rule her’. A famous judge Sir William Blackstone’s wrote an influential book in the eighteenth-century called Commentaries on the Law of England and stated, ‘For as the husband is to answer for his wife’s […]

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‘Mrs Beeton’ – the 19th century ‘Domestic Goddess’.

Did you know the 19th century ‘Mrs Beeton’ is largely regarded as the first ‘domestic goddess’- a title the delightful Nigella Lawson embodies today. ‘Mrs Beeton’, as she preferred to be called, (her matronly manor only served to endorse her relentless instruction) success was largely attributable to the fact her husband was a publisher, and she actually copied most recipes from the successful cooks of the day, however by 1868 three years after her death, nearly 2 million copies of her cookbook had been sold and by 1907 it had expanded to over 73 chapters. Between 1780 and 1850 Britain was industrialising. Towns were transforming into cities and the […]

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