Thu, Feb 10, 2022

4 PM – 5:30 PM PST (GMT-8)

Add to Calendar

Private Location (sign in to display)

Private Location (sign in to display)

View Map


Options Sales Start Sales End Availability Price
Option RSVP

Sales Start Jan 3, 2022 at 12 AM Sales End Feb 10, 2022 at 12 AM Availability 75
Spots Left
Price FREE

This event is open to specific members only. You need to Sign In


It is a truth universally acknowledged that tea time was an all but sacred ritual among the polite English gentry of Jane Austen’s Regency era. What better place to find all the mannered elegance we associate with Austen’s novels? Or is there another truth to be told? Our modern image of the British high tea was shaped by Victorian and Edwardian society ladies who lived after Austen. What was tea actually like in Austen’s Regency era? What are her characters really doing when they meet at “tea time” or “take tea”?

If you’d like to find out what was on Jane Austen’s tea table, how it got there, and what it meant in Austen’s life and art, join UCI English professor Jayne Lewis and doctoral candidates Rachel Hoffer and Tara Leederman as we recreate the experience of tea with Jane Austen. In this workshop, we will endeavor to give Austen fans, scholars, and aspiring historians alike a sense of that experience and its context, engaging not just the mind and the eye, but the nose and the taste buds too. We’ll offer a taste of the domestic arts of baking and preserving that connected generations of women to one another in English households. We’ll also touch on the silver and china that their guests and families would have used. And we’ll take a good look at the global trade in tea and sugar that brought the world and its troubles to Jane Austen’s table.

This is a golden opportunity to delve into the domestic world of Austen’s imagination. You can expect to sip an approximation of teas Jane Austen would have tried and sample some typical tea accompaniments. We’ll even share a few recipes from the cookbook of Austen's housemate and friend, Martha Lloyd.
Do come help us bring the decorous regency era to life!
Common allergens: Wheat, eggs, milk.

RACHEL HOFFER is a second year English PhD student at UCI who is interested in nineteenth-century novel theory. Her MA thesis focused on forms of romantic allegory and characterization in Austen’s Mansfield Park. Rachel wonders: Why are Austen’s novels always associated with “sweetness”? And how can the colonial and the culinary theoretical lens help scholars examine the regency era novel in all its sugary pleasures and pains?
JAYNE LEWIS is Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. She is, most recently, the editor of the anthology Religion in Enlightenment England (Baylor 2016) and the author of Air’s Appearance: Literary Atmosphere in British Fiction, 1660-1794 (Chicago, 2012). Other books include Mary Queen of Scots: Romance and Nation (Routledge 2001) and The English Fable: Aesop and Literary Culture, 1660-1740 (Cambridge 1995). She has published numerous articles and co-edited several essay volumes on anglophone literature and culture in the Enlightenment and beyond.
TARA LEEDERMAN is a historiographer and PhD candidate at UC Irvine. She is currently a research assistant busily baking up historical oddities from Georgian cookbooks, an archival researcher at the Huntington Library, and scribbling away on her dissertation on the history of forensics and jurisprudence in the eighteenth century. She is an eager participant in all things Austen, including the Jane Austen Summer Program, and in numerous living history and literature events.


Private Location (sign in to display)

Private Location (sign in to display)

Hosted By

Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts & Culture Initiative | Website | View More Events

Contact the organizers