So I’m sitting in a coffee shop failing to wrangle my wandering mind in order to focus on the novel I’m writing, or was writing seeing as how I haven’t worked on it in two weeks. But I can’t. After the worst 200 hundred words of my life (including the three-page-run-on-sentence story I wrote when I was ten), I figured I needed a pick-me-up. What better pick-me-up is there than talking about eighteenth-century Britain? None. I knew you would agree with me.
I’m in a coffee shop so let’s talk briefly about coffeehouses! Too much? C’est la vie. Coffee was introduced to Britain in the mid-17th century. With the increase in its consumption, coffeehouses sprang up. We’re not talking mass chain stores like Starbucks with frappuccinos oozing out of every corner where you’re hard-pressed to even find straight up coffee, obviously. These were places of social gathering, as they still very much are. Only difference? It wasn’t as sanitary. Joke. Sort of.
Coffeehouses were open to everyone, regardless of rank or station etc. They were open to women too, but since the purpose of coffeehouses were to discuss the news, politics, philosophy and other related topics, many believed that women didn’t have a place in them. Women were not mentally equipped for those subjects, or would, biologically (I do mean to use this word), not enjoy discussing them. I am sure not everyone thought this way so don’t go thinking I’m a feminist on a rant because I’m not. This is simply how it was.
Women didn’t sit back and idly watch their men lose themselves to their coffee and political consumption at the coffeehouses, though. They argued that coffeehouses and coffee drinking in general made men impotent and sterile, which I contend is because they spent all their time in them instead of at home. Relationships between men and women never change, do they?
There you have it. In the future, I’ll try to refrain from going into so much detail. This was only supposed to be a paragraph long. Oops?