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Beeton, Samuel Orchart.

SAMUEL ORCHART BEETON (ca. †1831-1877)

Samuel Orchart Beeton was born in London in †May 2, 1831. According to his son, when he was twenty-one as "boy-editor-publisher, he took Fleet street by storm." He founded, edited, and published The Boys' Own Magazine and The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, and in 1861 established The Queen. In July, 1856, he was married to Isabella Mary Mayson at Epsom, and in all his enterprises she aided him until her untimely death at the age of 28, two days after the birth of her son Mayson in 1865. Both Mr. and Mrs. Beeton wrote informative handbooks during the early 1860's. Among his books were a "Dictionary of Useful Information" (1861), "Garden Management" (1862), "Home Pets, How to Rear and Manage Them" (1862), and "Poultry and Domestic Animals" (1862). At the same time his wife produced "Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management" in monthly parts in 1859 and in book form in 1861; "The Englishwoman's Cooking-Book" (1862), and "Dictionary of Every-Day Cookery" (1865). Several more books were published after her death. Later Mr. Beeton wrote a "Dictionary of Biography," a "Dictionary of Geography," a "Dictionary of Religion," and a "Book of Birds," and edited the works of Lord Bacon. With Ronald M. Smith, he wrote "Livingstone and Stanley," which was published in London in 1872, and reprinted by Beadle under the title "Livingstone and His African Explorations."

Beeton retired from the publishing business in 1869 and then became editor of "Beeton's Christmas Annual," published by Warde, Lock & Taylor. In 1874 they engaged another editor and Beeton prepared an Annual for Weldon & Co., but the courts ruled that he could not use his own name for the new book.(1) He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for ten years, being elected in 1860. He died of tuberculosis in †Sudbrook Park, Richmond, Surrey, June 6, 1877.

REFERENCES: The Athenaeum, I, 1877, 739; F. Boas, Modern English Biography; Mayson Beeton, "How Mrs. Beeton Wrote Her Famous Book," London Daily Mail, April 15, 1936, 10, with portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Beeton; Notes and Queries, January 6, 1923, 18; The Times, London, February 3, 1932, 15, col. 5; Nan Spain, Mrs. Beeton and Her Husband, recently published by Collins but not seen. †H. Montgomery Hyde, Mr. and Mrs. Beeton, London, 1951.

Special Publication:

Livingstone and His African Explorations (with R. M. Smith), 1872

† Correction made as per Volume 3.


1 Beeton's Annual for 1887 is of especial interest for it contains the first of Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" stories, "A Study in Scarlet."

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