"It's Always Tea Time"


Now we can say that every Englishmen love tea and the pages of the English literature are richly adorned with tea-time scenes. On the occasion of the 150th birthday of Alice 's Adventures In The Wonderland publication by Lewis Carroll, we went to an exhibition in the British Library in London.


For sure, one of the most important reference for us is the Chapter VII. The "Mad Tea-Party", corresponds in our mind with the iconic presence of tea in the British literacy.


The scene is about Alice whose inviting herself in the table of the March Hare who is sharing a tea with the Mad Hatter and a sleeping Dormouse. It's one of the most absurd scene in the story. The three characters are speaking in a very illogical way : there is a gap between questions and responses, they pass from a discussion to another one without real link. Alice is the witness of a particular tea party representation.


With this sequence, Lewis Carroll would criticize the Victorian society. In fact, the afternoon tea ceremonial, was a political place, with a lot of rules and where people negotiated some businesses. In a child mind, it more looked like people playing at having a tea-party and saying things that made no sens all together. 


This sight is a proof that the ritual of the afternoon tea was very important because, even if characters lost the Time -because of a broken pocket watch- they don't want to forget the Tea Time. Thus, "it's always tea time" there !