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A Necessary Luxury: Tea in Victorian England Paperback – December 30, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


“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.”

“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

About the Author

Julie E. Fromer teaches at Corning Community College in Corning, New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press; 1 edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821418297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821418291
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,046,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chilton on June 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book for those interested in history. I ended up returning this book because it was not what I was looking for at the time. I wanted a recipe book plus some background information. This is a very good, detailed, scholarly, historical treatise on the use of tea, ceremonies developed for and surrounding tea, and the social ramifications of tea (beverage and ceremonies) in Victorian England. For the history buff this would be a great read. For my purposes at the time I bought and returned it, it was not what I needed.
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A Necessary Luxury: Tea in Victorian England
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