duchess of devonshire, laura childs, devonshire scream, afternoon tea
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  The Tea House Times Guest Blog - Laura Childs
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The Duchess of Devonshire: Always in Fashion, Deeply in Debt, Lover of Afternoon Tea by Laura Childs

Saturday, May 14th 2016 @ 5:17 PM

If you’re a tea lover, you can thank Lady Georgina Spencer, who became the infamous Duchess of Devonshire when she married William Cavendish, the 5th Duke of Devonshire.  Of course, being born a Spencer, she was also the great-great-great-great-aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales.

This colorful Duchess of Devonshire was a glamorous fashion maven who wore elaborate hats and dresses, and even posed for a portrait with famed artist Thomas Gainsborough.  She became notorious for her many catastrophic love affairs as well as her love of gambling.  In fact, the Duchess was always deeply in debt and trying to hide her excesses from her beleaguered Duke.

On the plus side, the Duchess of Devonshire wrote books of poetry and was a passionate campaigner for women’s rights.  But it was as a lively and brilliant socialite that she really shone.  The Duchess is credited with having invented the ritual of afternoon tea.  Rather than the traditional evening tea, the Duchess of Devonshire gathered together a salon of artists, literary figures, politicians, and even scientists for afternoon teas.  She served freshly brewed tea (which at the time was very expensive) as well as dainty sandwiches, and small cakes.  This new custom gave rise to the use of china tea sets, pretty dishes, and silver teapots, which still persists to this day.


Because the Duchess of Devonshire was one of the first feminist networkers, I decided to applaud her forward thinking (and eccentricity) by having the characters in my new Tea Shop Mystery, Devonshire Scream, celebrate her with a special Duchess of Devonshire Tea.

Best,

 ~ Laura Childs

 

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LAURA CHILDS is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys traveling, and has two Shar-Peis. See LauraChilds.com

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