Saturday, 26 June 2010

Tea with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson

GENRE: non-fiction


"You must drink tea with us tonight." Sense & Sensibility
Who would not want to sit down with Jane Austen and join her in a cup of tea? Here for the first time is a book that shares the secrets of one of her favourite rituals. Tea figures prominently in Jane Austen's life and work. In fact, the beloved novelist was the keeper and maker of tea in her family. Tea with Jane Austen begins with tea drinking in the morning and ends with tea in the evening, at balls and other gatherings. Each chapter includes a description of how tea was taken at a particular place or time of day, along with history, recipes, excerpts from Austen's novels and letters and illustrations from the time. The book also reveals how to make a perfect cup of tea! This volume is the perfect gift for tea lovers-and of course, Jane Austen fans.


I bought this little book (it has 108 pages) on a whim and I do not regret it. It is a very fun way to get to know Jane Austen a bit differently, as well as the Georgian and Regency England and the significance of tea and meals in Austen’s novels.

The book explores the value of tea in Austen’s time, the blends, required tea things, tea at breakfast, shopping, travelling, tea as a medicine, tea after supper, relaxation in pleasure gardens, etc. The book is very thorough about tea and through tea, you can learn a lot about the Regency culture and manners, as well as some interesting bits and pieces about Jane Austen herself. Kim Wilson also juxtaposes Austen’s novels with Regency views on tea and it’s a true delight to read. After reading this book, you will know why Lizzy's arrival at Netherfield Park to see her sick sister Jane was awfully early for the "bon ton" that Darcy and Bingley belonged to, and what it signified.

I learned a lot from this book and there are also some very fine recipes included for typical Regency delights. I will try to use those recipes in the near future myself. In the end, it is also described how to make perfect tea for yourself. I am a tea drinker (Irish Cream Tea and Earl Gray are my favourite blends), so I truly appreciated the recipes and the advice on how to make yourself a perfect cup of tea.

Tea drinkers and Jane Austen lovers will surely enjoy this book.



Witch of Stitches said...

I love this book - two of my favorite indulgences, Jane Austen and tea! It's a lovely little book.

The Readings of a Busy Mom said...

definately adding this to the wish list it sounds great

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Christina T said...

I have had this on my wishlist for years but haven't purchased it yet. I love tea (my favorites are English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast) and Jane Austen's novels so I am sure I will really enjoy this book. Very nice review!

Claire said...

Sounds like a fab read!!