A Necessary Luxury: Tea in Victorian England

A Necessary Luxury: Tea in Victorian England

by Julie E. Fromer
     
 

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In A Necessary Luxury: Tea in Victorian England, Julie E. Fromer analyzes tea histories, advertisements, and nine Victorian novels, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Wuthering Heights, and Portrait of a Lady. Drawing from the fields of literary studies, cultural studies, history, and anthropology, A Necessary

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Overview

In A Necessary Luxury: Tea in Victorian England, Julie E. Fromer analyzes tea histories, advertisements, and nine Victorian novels, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Wuthering Heights, and Portrait of a Lady. Drawing from the fields of literary studies, cultural studies, history, and anthropology, A Necessary Luxury offers in-depth analysis of both visual and textual representations of the commodity and the ritual that was tea in nineteenth-century England.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book is a genuine tour de force.”
— Deborah Denenholz Morse, author of Women in Trollope’s Palliser Novels

“A well-researched history of the development of a habit inextricably woven into England’s national identity.”
Dickens Quarterly

”Fromer draws usefully on nineteenth-century histories of and advertisements for tea. In the first third of the book this nonfictional material is used in order to propose a Victorian idealisation of tea as a ‘necessary luxury’; an idealisation that cohered around a specifically English, middle-class, and domesticated vision of a united and prosperous nation. The great success of the study is the fact that it elaborates so thoroughly and convincingly on novels that can be understood variously to underwrite, play with, or disrupt this vision.”
Victorian Studies

“With Fromer as one’s guide, references in British literature to the serving and drinking of tea seem legion indeed.”
Brontë Studies

“Fromer’s straightforward writing style makes this book a useful introduction to close readings of passages from these texts (novels by Brontë, Dickens, Eliot, Gaskell, Hardy, James, Carroll, Oliphant, and Trollope) and historical and cultural criticism.”
CHOICE

“In her conclusion, Fromer brings the tea mystic to the present, with the new gourmet teas and the popularity of Indian/southeast Asian chai. From a symbol of British domesticity, tea has once again become an exotic foreign beverage.”
Book News Inc.

“(A)nyone who opens Julie Fromer's absorbing book may never read a Victorian novel in quite the same way again.”
Mansfield News Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780821418291
Publisher:
Ohio University Press
Publication date:
12/30/2008
Edition description:
1
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,000,054
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

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