• Deborah Yaffe

Sharing a cuppa

Just a few days ago, I returned from a visit to family in England. In my natural habitat, I’m not much of a tea drinker; absent a sore throat, I prefer coffee every time. But: when in Rome, etc., and so lately I’ve consumed a lot of tea. (Well, a lot for me, anyway.)


Which might make me the perfect audience for “Jane Austen and the British Way of Tea,” the latest virtual talk sponsored by the North Carolina-based humanities collaborative Jane Austen & Co. The lecture, which will take place over Zoom at 8 pm (US Eastern) on Thursday, will be delivered by Markman Ellis, an English professor at Queen Mary University of London.


The presentation is the latest event in Jane Austen & Co.’s ongoing series of lectures about Asia and the Regency. Previous talks, which can be viewed here, have covered everything from Aisha, the Bollywood adaptation of Emma, to Austen’s influence on Japanese novels and musical theater.


In Thursday’s talk, Ellis “will analyze tea as a multi-faceted concept: a commodity sourced from Asia, a prepared hot beverage, a social event in which tea is consumed, and an ideological construct associated with politeness and the social behaviors of the middling classes,” the event website promises. “Austen’s fictions cast light on each of these aspects of the performance of tea-taking in Britain.”


The event is free, but registration is required. Scones not included.

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