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A Brief History of Tea (Brief Histories) [Paperback]

Roy Moxham
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

29 Jan 2009 Brief Histories
Behind the wholesome image of the world’s most popular drink lies a strangely murky and often violent past. When tea began to be imported into the West from China in the seventeenth century, its high price and heavy taxes made it an immediate target for smuggling and dispute at every level, culminating in international incidents like the notorious Boston Tea Party. In China itself the British financed their tea dealings by the ruthless imposition of the opium trade. Intrepid British tea planters soon began flocking to India, Ceylon and Africa, setting up huge plantations; often workers were bought and sold like slaves. Roy Moxham’s account of this extraordinary history begins with his own sojourn in Africa, managing 500 acres of tea and a thousand-strong workforce. His experiences inform the book and led him to investigate the early history of tea – and the results of his researches reflect little credit on the British Empire, while often revealing a fascinating world story.

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Frequently Bought Together

A Brief History of Tea (Brief Histories) + Tea: A History of the Drink That Changed the World + For All the Tea in China: Espionage, Empire and the Secret Formula for the World's Favourite Drink
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Product details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (29 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845297474
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845297473
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born and brought up in Evesham, Worcestershire. After working for a while on a Herefordshire fruit farm, I went out to Africa in 1961 as a tea planter in Nyasaland, later Malawi. I spent 13 years in Eastern Africa before returning to London to set up a gallery of African art.

Subsequently, I went to Camberwell College of Arts and qualified as a book and paper conservator. After a period at Canterbury Cathedral Archives I became Senior Conservator of the Senate House, University of London, Library. I also taught in the Institute of English Studies on a MA in 'The History of the Book.' Following 'retirement' in 2005 I devote most of my energies to writing and giving talks. I spend half my time in London and the other half travelling, principally in India, which I have visited over twenty times and where I have friends from all sections of society.

I have twice been a guest on BBC R4 'Midweek.' I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and have given talks there, as well as at the British Library, the British Museum and many other venues.

My website is www.roymoxham.com

Product Description

Book Description

From tea’s first discovery in China to the present day, the story of a great world obsession

About the Author

Roy Moxham is the highly acclaimed author of The Great Hedge of India. He is a former tea planter and gallery owner and was latterly book conservator for Canterbury Cathedral and the University of London. He now lives in London and India.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise package 14 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is certainly a surprise to read and a very interesting story. Very easy to read and like the man is talking to you in person. Not a boring story and quite a revelation about the politics and the British involvement in India and China. It talks about the people and their lives on the plantations and their hardships as well as tea. It also blows aways some to the misconceptions of the origin of tea and its rise to an international drink. As it says it's history about tea and how it became the everyday drink in UK. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short & Quick 12 Jun 2010
By Spike
A surprisingly good book!

I had brought this as a novelty gift for a friend, afterwards had to purchase a 2nd copy to read myself.

It's not necessarily the history of the tea itself that's fascinating, but also the business and political side.

Definitely a great read and highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Time for Tea? 2 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Only about half way through so far - fascinating book - given the depreciating nature of the title, the book itself contains an implausibly vast collection of times, dates and places, all woven together with a seamless elegance.

Delivery and packaging were both excellent. Would use the supplier again without hesitation.
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