TeaGuide: Reviews and Ramblings

September 13, 2007

Book Review: And Then It Was Teatime

Filed under: books,food,tea,tea books,tea gifts — by JanisB @ 4:50 pm

And Then It Was Teatime
Compiled by Laurie Nienhaus
Retail and wholesale
Photo courtesy of Gilded Lily Publishing

Do I like this book? Well, within a week of opening up my copy I had already ordered another, to be sent as a gift to a friend. Who, by the way, loves it.

Imagine sharing teatime with dozens of literature’s most eloquent authors and captivating characters! And Then It Was TeaTimeAnd Then It Was Teatime is a thoughtful — and comprehensive — anthology of both well-known and obscure writings about that wonderful custom of taking tea.

Nearly 100 pages are filled with the most fascinating passages in literature and poetry, dating from late 18th century to late 20th. Text is complemented by charming old black-and-white prints (and a couple of modern photos). Format is paperback, so it’s small enough to carry with you if you’re headed out to your favourite tea room.

While a few excerpts are from “tea books,” most have their source in tales where tea is just a bit player — and the origins of some of these may surprise you. (Quick! Do you remember a teatime scene in Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo?)

Should you read it from start to finish in one sitting? Maybe. But I’d rather find a cozy nook, curl up with a good cuppa, then let it open to any page and begin. Then on to another page, and another … It’s pure pampering for the soul.

I’m already looking forward to Volume 2, but there is one feature I’d like to see in future editions: an index of authors and book titles. While I enjoy the random format when I’m simply reading and contemplating, I’d also like to be able to quickly locate and reference a particular entry from time to time.

Laurie Nienhaus is founder and director of The Ladies’ Tea Guild, as well as a playwright, author, and designer. Visit The Gilded Lily to order individual copies, or to order wholesale for your tea room or shop.

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