9780300106664

The Social Life of Coffee; The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780300106664

  • ISBN10:

    0300106661

  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2005-11-11
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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Summary

What induced the British to adopt foreign coffee-drinking customs in the seventeenth century? Why did an entirely new social institution, the coffeehouse, emerge as the primary place for consumption of this new drink? In this lively book, Brian Cowan locates the answers to these questions in the particularly British combination of curiosity, commerce, and civil society. Cowan provides the definitive account of the origins of coffee drinking and coffeehouse society, and in so doing he reshapes our understanding of the commercial and consumer revolutions in Britain during the long Stuart century. Britain's virtuosi, gentlemanly patrons of the arts and sciences, were profoundly interested in things strange and exotic. Cowan explores how such virtuosi spurred initial consumer interest in coffee and invented the social template for the first coffeehouses. As the coffeehouse evolved, rising to take a central role in British commercial and civil society, the virtuosi were also transformed by their own invention.

Author Biography

BRIAN COWAN holds the Canada Research Chair in Early Modern British History at McGill University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
A Note on Styles and Conventions xi
Introduction 1(4)
Part I Coffee: From Curiosity to Commodity
5(74)
An Acquired Taste
16(15)
Coffee and Early Modern Drug Culture
31(24)
From Mocha to Java
55(24)
Part II Inventing the Coffeehouse
79(68)
Penny Universities?
89(24)
Exotic Fantasies and Commercial Anxieties
113(34)
Part III Civilizing the Coffeehouses
147(110)
Before Bureaucracy
152(41)
Policing the Coffeehouse
193(32)
Civilizing Society
225(32)
Conclusion 257(8)
Notes 265(46)
Bibliography 311(44)
Index 355

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