ONLINE: In this lecture-based course, we will trace the story of tea from its earliest use in China to the place it holds today as the world’s most popular beverage, using lectures, slides and videos. We'll discuss how tea was brought to England by a 17th-century queen, and how important the tea trade was to the British East India Company, one of the most powerful commercial organizations in history. We'll consider how the demand for tea led to the Boston Tea Party, the use of enslaved people from Africa to grow sugar in the Caribbean, and the widespread smuggling and adulteration of tea in the 18th century. And we'll examine the Opium Wars with China in the 19th century, and the rivalry between American and British traders that led to the Clipper sailing races. We'll also explore tea's social history in Britain, from the early debates about its health-giving properties to the rise of the tea bag, and learn about the traditions surrounding the consumption of tea around the world. | Lecture + Q&A.
Max enrollment: 200.
Class sessions are recorded.
Margaret Brill was the British history librarian at Duke. She was also head of reference, maps librarian and librarian for medieval and Renaissance studies. She grew up just outside London, and has a B.A. in history from the University of London, a master’s in library science from NC Central University and a master’s in liberal studies from Duke. Her primary interest is social history, especially women's history. This is the 11th course she has taught for OLLI.