A few years ago, I had the idea for a story about Sherlock Holmes and how he came to be the “world’s most famous detective. As I continued with the book, I realized I’d amassed a great deal of information that might be of interest to both other writers as well as fans of Sherlock Holmes, and shared these in short essays published in Sherlockian newsletters all over the world. At the beginning of my third year of essay writing, I considered how to reach an even larger audience and decided to pull the first twenty-four together for indie-publication. From this idea, The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes: Essays on Victorian England was born.
I have now published two volumes of these essays, and have developed a very diverse collection of Victorian trivia. For example, the introduction of tea to Britain:
Coffee is recognized as having been introduced by a Turk in 1637 in Oxford where students and instructors created “The Oxford Coffee Club.” The first coffeehouse, The Angel, was opened there in 1650, followed two years later in London by a coffee stall run by Pasqua Roseé, a Greek (now, somewhat ironically, the site of a Starbucks). From the beginning, these establishments were considered places where men in their periwigs could gather to discuss topics of the day, gossip, write, and review what others had written—all fueled by a dark brew served in dishes with unlimited refills.
The first recorded sale of tea was at an auction in 1658, but was first made popular among the aristocracy by Portugal Princess Catherine of Braganza who married Charles II when she brought her habit with her in 1662. Soon, the practice spread from the elite to the middle class where it was consumed in…coffeehouses.
You can check out more information in The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes, Volumes 1 and 2.