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SWC: A syllabus for learning about 21stC money

I’ve been writing about class all my working life, although I didn’t always recognize it, because I wasn’t foregrounding it. Since I began researching the question “How do pyramidal hierarchies die?” I’ve tripped over dozens of really, really interesting texts. Here are some of the books that have blown my mind while I research the background

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There’s Tea, and Then There’s Tea

Ah, tea…that most English of meals…but which meal is it? Well, that kind of depends. Tea was introduced in England as early as 1635 but didn’t become fashionable until the 1660s, when King Charles II married the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza. Tea drinking was already established in Portugal, and Catherine brought tea and her

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Feeding Your Invalid in the 19th Century 2: Barley Water

Horatio Wood’s ‘Treatise on therapeutics’ (1879) says that “Barley-water is used as a nutritious, demulcent drink in fevers.” It is still in use. You can buy it flavored with citrus in bottles, beside the lemonade, in British grocery stores. I can just remember drinking barley water as a child – it was also popular in

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Feeding Your Invalid in the 19th Century 1: Ivory Dust Jelly

Since the BVC blog 1.0 evaporated, this material has been lost, lost I tell you, to all modern knowledge. Pleas from far elsewhere have resurrected this series, which is going to trickle out over the next month or so. As the elect among you may know, I wrote a multi-volume series of Victorian thrillers featuring

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Chair Amie

Here, for your viewing pleasure, may I present Pocock’s Reclining Patent Chair, from the March 1813 issue of Ackermann’s Repository: Isn’t it a beauty? The accompanying text reads: Our engraving this month represents an elegant fashionable fauteuil chair, upon Messrs. Pocock’s patent reclining principle, to incline the back to any position, with double reclining footstools,

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