From Charleston to Constantinople

On the days from 4th June until midday on June 6th Proprietors and visiting academics heard interesting accounts of the use tea, coffee chocolate in the 18th century. From Charleston to China, Uppsala near Stockholm to the highlands of Ethiopia, discussion and talk in the library has, for three days, been concerned with the epochal moment when hot drinks apart from mulled ale became widely available. These new colonial products changed life in many ways and their use brought about movements in the artistic filed, in economy, in politics and society.  They enjoyed enormous popularity but also came with medical warnings of the dire effects of excessive consumption.

The workshop organised by 18th century Worlds, the University of Liverpool and the Athenaeum, brought young academics from Uppsalla, Frankfurt am Oder, Salzburg and Liverpool to tell of their researches into these magical beverages.  The Athenaeum was not neglected and I was able to relate some of the nuts and bolts details of setting up our own Coffee Room.

The workshop opened with a keynote lecture by Professor Markman Ellis from Queen Mary’s College in London who described the development of the trade in tea between Britain and China in the Seventeenth Century.

As well as the formal sessions plenty of opportunity was give for informal discussion over the refreshments provided by our catering team and the dinner, hosted by Professor Eve Rosenhaft on the Thursday night.

If you missed this event and are interested in attending future study sessions they show every sign of becoming an annual highlight of our calendar.