If you are interested in Mrs Beeton, this is the only book to buy. To read her words in the original form they were written is a revelation. She is a much wittier stylist than many people imagine. The book has beautiful llustrations of everything from patty-pans and jelly-moulds to pigs and cows, and stunning colour plates which transport you to the joys of the Victorian table. This is a much better but than the abridged Oxford classics edition, which leaves a lot out, and doesn't have plates. Oh, and the recipes are brilliant too.