Monday, May 21, 2007

martha stewart only went to prison

Last night I caught the delightful drama "The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton" on PBS.

It tells the story of an educated middle class woman who, while not domestic herself, being a career woman who basically runs her husband's publishing business, sees the need for some sort of guide to help housewives manage their homes, from finances to child-rearing and cooking and managing servants. So she sets about learning how to do it all herself and writes the book. Along the way, she suffers a heartbreaking series of lost children and a slow decline into poverty as her husband becomes a drunkard.

And what did she get for her trouble? Syphilis. It seems ironic that the very people who seem to be so flawless on paper should turn out to be so imperfect. This is a very witty, very sympathetic telling of the story. Mrs. Beeton is as charming a heroine as you could ever want.