Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management is a book written by Isabella Mary Mayson and first published in October 1861. Essentially a guide to running a Victorian era household, the book contains advice on fashion, child-care, animal husbandry, poisons, the management of servants, science, religion, industrialism and a very large number of recipes. Read the entire book here.
Snip from Chapter 1 - The Mistress: "AS WITH THE COMMANDER OF AN ARMY, or the leader of any enterprise, so is it with the mistress of a house. Her spirit will be seen through the whole establishment; and just in proportion as she performs her duties intelligently and thoroughly, so will her domestics follow in her path. Of all those acquirements, which more particularly belong to the feminine character, there are none which take a higher rank, in our estimation, than such as enter into a knowledge of household duties; for on these are perpetually dependent the happiness, comfort, and well-being of a family."
(Thanks Sir Thomas)