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KC Hysmith

Spilling the Tea: Contextualizing Tea, Gender and Race in the Regency

Teaching Notes


"Spilling the Tea: Contextualizing Tea, Gender, Race in the Regency" was first presented at the Jane Austen Summer Program of 2021, entitled "Jane Austen's World." KC Hysmith explores the socioeconomic background of England's beloved beverage.

Discussion Questions 

  1. Knowing that making and serving tea held complex gendered and social status connotations, what might Mrs. Bates, Susan, or Fanny feel or think during the process of serving tea? What do these women have in common? What might be Austen’s purpose in including “tea” scenes in the novels? How would Austen’s own life experiences relate to any of these women?

  2. What is the relationship between tea (the product), tea (as a social ritual), and women’s status during the Regency era?

"Tea, Gender, and Race" handout 
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