The Bride’s Book

A few weeks ago, I was browsing through a copy of The Lady which had been passedon ot me by a friend at work. There was an interesting little article which mentioned a book that had been given to Princess Margaret when she got married, and was found amongst her things when she died. It was simply called ‘A Book For Brides’ and I really wanted to read it. I have several housekeeping books from that time and love the advice in them. A while ago Carl bought me ‘How To Be A Good Wife’ which was a facsimilie edition of an advice guide from this era.

A little internet searching revealed that the book had been published by Forbes, and the British Library had a copy in its archives. I filled in an interlending form, and more or less forgot about it. So you can imagine how pleased I was when I unpacked the van delivery at work this morning and found a padded envelope which contained the very copy I had seen on the British Library website.

It is a delightful little hardback in dark green which smells wonderfully of old books. There are numerous essays for the bride inside, covering everything from planning her wardrobe to cooking the meals to decorating the house by authors as diverse as Evelyn Waugh and Marghanita Laski. I am most intrigued to read the essay by the latter, as it is called ‘Hard Labour for Life’!!

There are one or two advertisements inside, one for Elizabeth Arden make up. Of course some of the advice is terribly old fashioned an out of date, but I do think there was a lot of sense about and quite a lot of it can be adapted for today. I will let you know any gems as I discover them and put them into practise!

I have also brought home from the library today ‘Mr Digwell’ which is a book about growing and cooking vegetables. Starting in the 40s, Mr Digwell featured in comic-strip style advice, showing how to grow the veg, and then Patsy starred in a comic-strip style feature showing you how to cook it. This book features an alphabet of fruit and vegetables with the accompanying strips. Visit for more!

Then lastly I have a book about ‘meals for beginners’ not that I am a beginner having been cooking for the two of us for the past seven years, but it is always nice to have some new ideas.

It looks like it may have finally have stopped raining now, but to be honest it still feels like a rainy afternoon, so I shall stay curled up on the sofa with my books for now, and perhaps make a pot of tea in a little while.

I hope you are having a lovely Saturday!



2 thoughts on “The Bride’s Book

  1. Our table garden yield of green beans and zucchini has been phenomenal this year. Loving veg in general I am thrilled. A really easy delicious summer supper we have enjoyed of late is this:Prep the veg, and separately roast them in a very hot oven (drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste prior). While the veg roast cook until al dente pasta–the amount depends on how hungry you are. I fix 8 ounces for the two of us and always have leftovers.When the pasta is done, drain it well, add a knob of butter, some olive oil, salt and pepper, stir, then add in some grated parm, stir again.In your eating bowl, place a portion of the pasta, top with some of both roasted veg, and over the top of all of it grate some white cheddar…muenster would be nice too.If you like hot sauce some chili garlic sauce on the side is nice. We love this meal and it is a great way to use our garden bounty.

  2. Many years ago, when I was your age and my husband was in Bible college I read the book How To Cook A Wolf. It was interesting reading–written during war time cooking in the 40's. It is still available for purchase.

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