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The art of coffee-drinking.,
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This review is from: The Coffee-House (Paperback)
I purchased this book because of late I have found developments of the seventeenth century, particularly of a scientific aspect, decidedly interesting. Whilst I had been aware for some time of the role that the coffee-house played in helping England, and particularly Oxford and London, emerge into the nascent 'modern historical times' from the exciting Renaissance period, I had become interested in the growth of coffee houses in England. Having been absorbed in particular in the life of Robert Hooke and his involvement in the development of the Royal Society and in scientific enquiry and research, I was becoming aware of how big a role coffee-houses played in the social life of London during the period of the English Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell and in the Restoration period of the later Stuart dynasty. I thought that the next book I read should be an account of the growth of the Coffee-house in England.
After reading several of the Amazon readers reviews of books on this topic I settled on this particular one by Markman Ellis. I was not to be disappointed. In particular I enjoyed the style of the author, one chapter seemingly leading me on to an interest in the next. The early chapters and how the coffee-house first began in the Ottoman Empire and found its way to Europe I knew nothing of. Some of the characters and the style of living appealed to my interests. The growth both of coffee-houses and of culture-house visiting in London exploded once the first was installed there. Who opened that first, particular coffee-house, where, and when I shall leave for your discovery. Once started the coffee-house was to remain part of the life of London for over the next two centuries, taking on a different style and interests as different tastes and cultures changed from period to period.
The spread of coffee-houses to some other parts of the world, the old world and the new, are touched upon in this account, as are the growth of modern social coffee-drinking in Britain, and even world-wide for that matter, during the middle of the twentieth century and even up to present-day. To my mind this book should appeal to both anyone who is interested in the developing styles of living in the modern world, or in British cultural and social history.
I found the book particularly strong on the emergence of coffee-house drinking during the seventeenth century, but whereas it has not satisfied my appetite completely in its growth and development after that period, it has certainly whetted it for further reading on what I found to be a particularly revealing and interesting topic. It is because I find that I wish to read further on the topic that I have 'meanly' only given the book a four-star rating. It is a better book that that.