Author's Final Manuscript
This article explores a cultural paradox in nineteenth-century England: that tea, a colonially sourced comestible, was figured as a curative for the exhaustions incurred by building and administering an empire. Pursuing the idea that colonialism reconfigured the sensorium of both colonised and coloniser, I trace how tea – as a stimulant and a palliative – was an agent in mediating the highs and lows of imperial feeling. I correlate sitting down and tea-drinking with the settlings of colonial annexation and with the consumption and production of fiction, specifically the genres of fantasy and sensation fiction. Writers engaged include Wilkie Collins, Thomas de Quincey, J. M. Barrie, and Thomas Macaulay.
Thomas, K. 2022. "Tea, Fiction, and the Imperial Sensorium." Victoriographies 12.2: 168-188.