Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Jane_Austen_coloured_version

Many happy returns of the day!

Jane Austen was born this day in 1775, making this the 240th anniversary of her birth.

And shortly thereafter in 1779, this book was born….

Giovanni Anfossi, Dell'uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779).

Giovanni Anfossi, Dell’uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779).

This book is all about how BAD chocolate is for you. Jane Austen did not agree.

For although there is plentiful tea in the collected works of Jane Austen, there is also a little chocolate

He took his own cocoa from the tray, which seemed provided with almost as many teapots as there were persons in company —

Miss Parker drinking one sort of herb tea and Miss Diana another — and turning completely to the fire, sat coddling and cooking it to his own satisfaction and toasting some slices of bread, brought up ready-prepared in the toast rack; and till it was all done, she heard nothing of his voice but the murmuring of a few broken sentences of self-approbation and success. When his toils were over, however, he moved back his chair into as gallant a line as ever, and proved that he had not been working only for himself by his earnest invitation to her to take both cocoa and toast. She was already helped to tea — which surprised him, so totally self-engrossed had he been. “l thought I should have been in time,” said he, “but cocoa takes a great deal of boiling.” “l am much obliged to you,” replied Charlotte. “But I prefer tea.” “Then l will help myself,” said he. “A large dish of rather weak cocoa every evening agrees with me better than anything.” lt struck her, however, as he poured out this rather weak cocoa, that it came forth in a very fine, dark-coloured stream; and at the same moment, his sisters both crying out, “Oh, Arthur, you get your cocoa stronger and stronger every evening,” with Arthur’s somewhat conscious reply of “Tis rather stronger than it should be tonight”
–Sanditon, by Jane Austen, 1817

Printing

This iconic Walter Baker Chocolate logo was painted in the 18th century

Because the weather is supposed to cooler – it’s practically Winter, so it might even be COLD (but I’m not complaining) and the sound of Christmas carols is everywhere, and I saw this use of a Pilgrim reproduction object:

beercup with marshmallow

It’s a beer cup, re-purposed as a hot chocolate with marshmallows cup. Genius!

A Chocolate Cup Jane Austen might recognize:

Chocolate_cup_Chantilly_porcelain_18th_century

And a hot chocolate recipe she might use:

From Mrs Rundell’s Domestic Cookery, 1859.

books_003

And a little https://www.youtube.com/embed/E3fX2_bxEkg” target=”_blank”>Hot Chocolate from a little more recently…..

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1 Comment

Filed under Recipe, The 1970's, winter

One response to “Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

  1. Mmm, chocolate!

    I’ve been a fan of Jane Austen since I was a child…planning to publish an Austen-themed blog post later in the week. 🙂

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