Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
– T.S. Eliot –
Where’s the link between tea and great literature? Glad you asked. A little while back the New Yorker examined those links in a piece called Tea: A Literary Tour. Author Eileen Reynolds takes a look at tea and Jane Austen, which was the subject of an appropriately titled book not so long ago – Tea With Jane Austen. Also touched upon, among others, Dickens and the most famous tea party of them all, the one that takes place in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
If that’s not enough tea and literature for you, you can turn your attention to something of a more recent vintage, though its setting is a historic one. The Tea Rose, by Jennifer Donnelly, is a historical romance with its roots firmly planted in the tea industry. For more about it, be sure to check out this review, here at the English Tea Blog.
For another work of fiction along similar lines, be sure to check out The Tea Lords, by the Dutch writer Hella Haasse. It was first published in the Netherlands in 1992 but was recently translated into English. It’s an interesting look at the colonialism and the tea industry in the East Indies in the late nineteenth century. For more about this one check out this pair of recent articles in the British press, here and here.
For something a little less literary but a little more tea-oriented take a look at The World in Your Teacup: Celebrating Tea Traditions, Near and Far, by Lisa Boalt Richardson. As the author puts it, “The World in
Your Teacup takes you on the journey of tea to discover how and why it is celebrated all around the globe.”
If you’d like to make “an inner journey of self-discovery through the simple practice of sipping tea” then gets your hands on a copy of Sereni-Tea: Sipping Self Success, by Dharlene Marie Fahl. If you never thought that tea could help you “quiet your mind, open your heart and nurture your being as you drink in the peace of self success,” it might be time to rethink your position on this issue.