The Household Oracle

What Is This About?

This information is presented as a fascinating insight into the running of middle class household in Victorian England at the end of the 1800’s. The material reveals old prejudice, stereotypes and now out-moded ways of thinking.

The material in the associated pages (see `Household Oracle Index’ above) is scanned and reformatted from a handbook entitled¬†`The Household Oracle – A Popular Referee on All Subjects of Household Enquiry’¬†edited by Alfred H Miles which covers in detail:-

  • House building, buying and renting
  • House furnishing and decorating
  • Housekeeping and domestic cookery
  • Needlework
  • Home farming, gardening and domestic pets
  • Marriage and children
  • Needlework
  • Household hygiene
  • A summary of the history of the world
  • English grammar and language history
  • English land law and Constitution
  • Religions of the world
  • English history and the history of the human family
  • Duties of the English householder
  • Measurement of time and weights
  • Arithmetical Tables
  • Home amusements
  • Architecture
  • The postal system
  • Etiquette
  • etc

It attempts to cover everything that a homemaker would need at that time to run a well ordered household.


My intention is to present the information as originally written but to use modern techniques such as links and search facilities to make it easier to use. I do not intend to preserve the original layout or even the original order of material as they will be sacrificed in the interests of ease of use. But the original language, grammar, spelling and writing style will be kept to preserve as much as possible the flavor of this window on life at that time.

The material is presented for historical interest only and is not intended to be an authoritative exposition on anything. The application of any ideas is at the risk of the reader and it is highly recommended that modern professional advice or other references be consulted before applying any of the material here.

There are nearly 600 pages in this volume so it is a substantial process to work through. My present plan is to start at the beginning and work through to the end as time and inclination allow. For that reason it will be a work in progress for some time. Various processes will be available to facilitate an interested follower returning as new material is added.

I hope that you will find this glimpse of a how a late 19th century English household was run as fascinating as I do and enjoy its exploration through the processes that modern technology make possible. I also hope you will contact me if you have any comment or suggestions for improvement.