Coombes' title These Poor Hands first published in 1939, was an instant best-seller, catapulting the author to the forefront of proletarian writers. Coombes was born in England, but he lived for a large part of his in the Vale of Neath, South Wales, and as the economic problems of the 30s worsened, he turned to writing as a way to spread the news of the plight of miners and their communities to the wider world. He presented the daily life of miners in documentary fashion, with special attention to the damaging lockouts of 1921 and 1926, These Poor Hands retains the power to astonish readers with its description of the ways that unfettered capitalism can lay waste to pure human potential.
In Teatimes, food historian Helen Saberi takes us on a stimulating journey beyond the fine porcelain, doilies, crumpets, and jam into the fascinating and diverse history of tea drinking. From elegant afternoon teas, hearty high teas, and cricket and tennis teas, to funeral teas, cream teas, and many more, Saberi investigates the whole panoply of teatime rituals and ephemera—including tea gardens, tea dances, tea gowns, and tearooms. We are invited to spend time in the sophisticated salons de thé of Paris and the cozy tearooms of the United States; to enjoy the teatime traditions of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, where housewives prided themselves on their “well-filled tins”; to sit in on the tea parties of the Raj and Irani cafes in India; to savor teatimes along the Silk Road, where the samovar and chaikhana reign supreme; and to delight in the tasty dim sum of China and the intricate tradition of cha kaiseki in Japan. Steeped in evocative illustrations and recipes from around the world, Teatimes shows how tea drinking has become a global obsession, from American iced tea and Taiwanese bubble tea to the now-classic English afternoon tea. Pinkies up!