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Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Book of Household Management

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 23 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3866
  1. Gavin C K W Koh, honorary specialist registrar in infectious diseases, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge
  1. gavin.koh{at}

    Unstoppable epistaxis presents commonly enough to junior doctors in accident and emergency departments. What occasionally bemused me was not these patients’ condition but their odd reply, when they were asked what remedies had been tried. One answer was that neither a key dropped down the back nor a cold compress between the shoulder blades had halted the bleed. It was only later that I discovered both these treatments in chapter 43 of Mrs Beeton.

    The book’s proper title is The Book of Household Management, though it is commonly referred to as “Mrs Beeton’s cookbook.” The common mistitling is no accident, for 38 of her 44 chapters deal with food and …

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