The British Library asks: Which literary characters would you invite round for tea? Part Two



Timothy Schaeffert’s August Sweetbriar from The Swan Gondola is a purveyor of teas and it’s ritual. He would lead the tea party extravagantly dressed in ornate robes, scarfs, earrings and Aladdin pants. Well, this is a carnival! 

Nick Carraway and Daisy Buchanan from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. How very quaint Daisy would think afternoon tea to be, and how much would the cousins reveal to me of Gatsby and his character. 

Sara Gruen’s Jacob Jankowski and Marlena (Water for Elephants) might want to bring along Rosie their pet elephant but I’m sure we could get a bucket of tea in for her (laced with vodka!). 

Morgan McCarthy’s Sophie  from The House of Birds would make a great afternoon tea guest – etiquette and propriety in abundance but with a rebellious side, I would ask her about Oxford and her eventual escape. 

Madeleine Maxwell, Historian and Chief Operations Officer at the St Marys Institute of Historical Research in a series starting with Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. Chaos creator and fanatical tea drinker, I’m not sure I could match her cuppa for cuppa but I’d give it a go. 

Helene Huff, herself of 84 Charing Cross Road would be a bold and consuming tea guest, but oh so American and oh so interesting. Straight-talking and book fancier, she’s definitely on my list. Of course Ms Huff was the author of this memoir, not a fictional character. 


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