"The Empire of the Tea Table: The Social and Literary Life of Tea in Victorian England"
Presenter: Dr. Judith Fisher
By the time Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, tea was the ubiquitous drink of the English, especially English women. But just because everyone drank tea, the ceremony of "tea time" developed as a variety of intricate drinking and eating rituals denoting class status, marking urban from rural life, and displaying "essential" qualities of femininity. Victorian novelists and etiquette writers were keenly aware of their own social practices and, in fact, helped establish those rituals, providing mirrors to their readers of who they were (and were not)—as well as who they wanted to be.
The evening will include tea and a tasting of tea time specialties.
Judith Fisher is Professor Emerita from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She specialized in nineteenth-century studies. Her books include The Adventures of Philip by William Makepeace Thackeray (a scholarly edition); William Makepeace Thackeray: Lives of Victorian Literary Figures; Thackeray’s Narrative Skepticism and the Egoism of Authorship. She has published articles on Charles Dickens, Victorian drama, and nineteenth-century book illustration. She is currently finishing a literary history of tea in British literature from 1660 to 1900, titled "The Empire of the Tea-Table," and has recently moved to Madison.
Please join us at 7:15 pm at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St., Madison, WI 53704; 608-241-1574 To get on the mailing list, or for more information, email Joan Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jean DeVore at 608-836-1368.