Wayback Review: Tea with Jane Austen

Lazy?  Yes.  But maybe today’s chill will make you want to curl up with a cuppa too.  From Sleeping Hedghog in ’11, the original was in Green Man Review in ’06.  As always, clicky on the title for the full piece!

Tea with Jane AustenKim Wilson: Tea with Jane Austen

Books are a lot like meals; sometimes you want something long, drawn-out and filling, other times you want something light and easy, but with enough substance to make it worthwhile. I have to admit that my current diet of epic-length tomes left me wanting something I could sink my teeth into without sinking into the couch for an inordinate amount of time. So when this book came to my attention, I thought, tea-time it is!

With sections on tea in the morning and evening, shopping for tea, and tea while traveling, Ms. Wilson gives a peek into the world of tea in English society at all levels. There is also a section on tea and health that gives a disturbing look at how far smugglers would go to sell “tea” to their customers (the image of modern day drug peddlers cutting their wares with rat poison springs to mind), but also shows that even in that period, tea was taken for medicinal purposes. I’d take a cup of tea rather than a bowl of leeches any day!

Information is presented in a variety of ways, from general discussion to historical example and descriptions of famous places like Twinings and Sydney Gardens. Quotes from Jane Austen’s own personal letters, as well as her famous novels, illustrate most of what is discussed. The author blends all of these different voices together seamlessly. The sections are easy to read and can be broken down into their smaller parts and enjoyed a little at a time, great while taking a quick break with a cup of tea, which I wouldn’t doubt was completely intentional.

 

Read on…

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