Drinking has always meant much more than satisfying the thirst. Drinking can be a necessity, a comfort, an indulgence or a social activity.
Liquid Pleasures is an engrossing study of the social history of drinks in Britain from the late seventeenth century to the present. From the first cup of tea at breakfast to mid-morning coffee, to an eveining beer and a 'night-cap', John Burnett discusses individual drinks and drinking patterns which have varied not least with personal taste but also with age, gender, region and class. He shows how different ages have viewed the same drink as either demon poison or medicine.
John Burnett traces the history of what has been drunk in Britain from the 'hot beverage revolution' of the late seventeenth century - connecting drinks and related substances such as sugar to empire - right up to the 'cold drinks revolution' of the late twentieth century, examining the factors which have determined these major changes in our dietary habits.
"This is a work full of interesting anecdotal material and any reader will come away much better informed about both the drinking habits and the nature of the beverages that were popular in past ages.."
-"Albion, John Greenaway
"a landmark work."
-"American Historical Review
..."imaginative new book... Writing with clarity... His book will be welcomed by the general reader and the teacher preparing a lecture."
-"Choice, April 2000
""Liquid Pleasures is vintage Burnett: clear, rich, and satisfying and sparkling with original detail and amusing anecdotes."
"The best short, comprehensive history of drink t date," Liquid Pleasures combines old and new data and insights. ... no collection on British social history, popular culture, drink and diet, or alcohol and temperance will be complete without this magisterial" tour de "force."
-The Historian, Summer 2001