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Acta poética

On-line version ISSN 2448-735XPrint version ISSN 0185-3082


CASTRO SANTANA, Anaclara. Exotic, Enlightened and Controversial Pleasures of Empire: Chocolate, Tea and Coffee in English Literature (1650-1834). Acta poét [online]. 2019, vol.40, n.2, pp.119-145. ISSN 2448-735X.

In 1650, the first-ever English coffeehouse was established. This event triggered the fast-paced expansion of a business model that was to become an emblematic space for intellectual sociability. Chocolate houses followed closely behind, with the first that we know of starting to delight its customers around 1657. Tea quickly jumped onboard and became another staple of social drinking -which less than a century afterwards was to be considered the quintessence of Englishness itself. From the very beginning, these three substances were the target of heated controversy. This essay discusses literary representations of tea, coffee and chocolate, which account for some of the ways in which literature engages with and contributes to the formation, challenging and propagation of ideas.

Keywords : tea; coffee; chocolate; English literature; Early to modern periods.

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