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Today I learned that tea parties were established in the 1830s. But if the Boston Tea Party was in 1773, why did they call it the Boston Tea Party? Answer - they didn't: the actually called it "The destruction of the tea."


While the idea of breaking mid-afternoon for a sedate, superfluous meal, might seem at odds with the demands of this time-pressed, efficiency-conscious era, it made perfect sense in the 1830s when the tradition began.

Anna, Duchess of Bedford, is the woman commonly credited with inventing afternoon tea - establishing it as an occasion for upper-class women to trade gossip while filling up between a light lunch and a late dinner, says Andrea Tanner, archivist at London store Fortnum & Mason, which has long hosted afternoon teas.

Those with an eye for historical dates may wonder why the invention of tea parties post-dated the Boston Tea Party - from which America's current right-wing movement draws its inspiration - by about 50 years. The anomaly might be explained by historian Alfred Young, who said the term "Boston Tea Party" did not appear in print until 1834 - before that it was known simply as the "destruction of the tea.

In praise of (non-political) tea parties

What did you learn today?


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Jan 4, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=423

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