The Tasmanian Mrs. Beeton, Marjorie Bligh, now in her mid-90s, finds a new generation of admirers via this fondly doting biography by compatriot novelist Wood. Thrice-married author of several cookbooks and household primers since the mid-1960s, Bligh, nee Pearsall, then Blackwell, then Cooper, first gained fame in the early '50s with her award-winning recipes in the local agricultural competitions of Campbell Town, where she lived with her first husband, Cliff Blackwell, and their two sons, in a dream home they constructed. A devoted housewife, Marjorie was also, not surprisingly, a fierce competitor and tireless domestic impresario, working as a stringer for the newspapers and putting together her first book, Marjorie Blackwell at Home, just as she was finding true love with a schoolteacher and preacher named Adrian Cooper. After his devastating death and her later remarriage to truck driver Eric Bligh, the industrious, indomitable Marjorie nonetheless came out with new editions to her book, featuring folksy cooking, knitting, gardening, animal husbandry, and cleaning tips, with a forward-looking emphasis on recycling and thriftiness that appealed to contemporary readers. Subsequent works included A-Z of Gardening and her autobiography, Life Is for Living. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
2013-03-18, Publishers Weekly