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VICTORIANA - Enjoy articles relating to the Victorian Era. A regular column in each issue of The Tea House Times. Written by Patrice LePera - Authority, Victorian Era, Historical Writing - www.afterimage-art.com

June 2013 Posts

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The Little Tea Book by Arthur Gray

posted by TeaHouseTimes Admin, ADMINSaturday, June 1st 2013 @ 12:00 AM

An Introduction to The Little Tea Book by Arthur Gray:
This tiny little book published during the Victorian Era in 1903 talks about tea and includes a lot of fun poetry as well. Here is a little peek inside:

After all, tea is the drink! Domestically and socially it is the beverage of the world. There may be those who will come forward with their figures to prove that other fruits of the soil--agriculturally and commercially--are more important. Perhaps they are right when quoting statistics. But what other product can compare with tea in the high regard in which it has always been held by writers whose standing in literature, and recognized good taste in other walks, cannot be questioned?

A glance through this book will show that the spirit of the tea beverage is one of peace, comfort, and refinement. As these qualities are all associated with the ways of women, it is to them, therefore--the real rulers of the world--that tea owes its prestige and vogue.

Further peeps through these pages prove this to be true; for nearly all the allusions and references to the beverage, by male writers, reveal the womanly influence that tea imparts. But this is not all. The side-lights of history, customs, manners, and modes of living which tea plays in the life of all nations will be found entertaining and instructive. Linked with the fine feminine atmosphere which pervades the drinking of the beverage everywhere, a leaf which can combine so much deserves, at least, a little human hearing for its long list of virtues; for its peaceful walks, talks, tales, tattle, frills, and fancies which go to make up this tribute to “the cup that cheers but not inebriates.”

ON TEA
The following short poem by Edmund Waller
is believed to be the first one written in praise of
the “cup that does not inebriate”:

Venus her myrtle, Phoebus has her bays;
Tea both excels, which she vouchsafes to praise.
The best of Queens, and best of herbs, we owe
To that bold nation, which the way did show
To the fair region where the sun doth rise,
Whose rich productions we so justly prize.
The Muse’s friend, tea does our fancy aid,
Repress those vapors which the head invade,
And keep the palace of the soul serene,
Fit on her birthday to salute the Queen.
Waller was born in 1605, and died in 1687,
aged eighty-two.

 

*Taken from The Little Tea Book by Arthur Gray, © 1903, The Baker & Taylor Company

 

 

From the May/June 2013 issue of The Tea House Times.  To view the most recent issue, please register / log-in at http://www.theteahousetimes.com

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