We are a little over halfway through Women’s History Month and here at History Unboxed® we figured that it’s time for a Women’s History Month teatime. Check out the graphic below to learn about how Women’s History Month came to be. We’ve compiled a list of poetry and short readings we think lend themselves well to a Women’s History Month themed teatime. But first, the tea and snacks!
Looking for more Women’s History Month lessons? Check out our 2023 Women’s History Month Downloadable Lesson!
Legend has it that scones were first created in Scotland around 1500, and were quick breads made from oats and cooked on a griddle. They became a mainstay of British teatime around 1840 when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, feeling hungry, or perhaps hangry, in the late afternoon, made a habit of having a tray of tea, scones, and sandwiches sent to her room at precisely 4pm. She began to invite her friends to join her in this ritual and teatime became a see and be-seen event for the upper classes of Britain. It was an opportunity for the wealthy to show off to their friends with imported tea, fancy gowns, and decadent food. While both men and women of all social classes drank tea, afternoon teatime during the 19th and early 20th-century was really a women’s social event for the upper echelon of society. Every day many people in Britain and around the world still partake in some form of afternoon tea. With its historical ties to women, teatime is a perfect way to celebrate women’s history month!
Try your hand at making easy scones and clotted cream from AllRecipes. (In Britain, there’s debate on whether your cream goes on the scone first and then the jelly, or if the jelly goes on first and then the cream. You’ll have to decide for yourself!)
American Tea Gown, 1875-80. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
Tea gowns became popular in the mid 1800’s when afternoon tea became a social and showing-off event. Because tea was meant to be taken in the home, the dresses were often less formal than a dinner or a going out dress, and were more comfortable because they did not always require a corset. Hard to believe that this dress is considered somewhat informal!
What about the tea? Here’s a few of our favorite women-owned tea companies.
- Wild Roots Apothecary, Sperryville, Virginia
- Sacred Vibes Apothecary in NYC
- Big Heart Tea Company in Saint Louis, Missouri
Try some truly English tea with one of these English brands. Or head to your local grocery store and pick up English or Irish Breakfast, Lady Jane Gray, or really anything that strikes your fancy!
Rebel Girls Series by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo:
- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Inspiring Young Changemakers
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton
101 Awesome Women Who Changed The World by Julie Adams
DK’s 100 Women Who Made History: Remarkable Women Who Shaped Our World
Teen Trailblazers: 30 Fearless Girls Who Changed the World Before They Were 20 by Jennifer Calvert and Vesna Asanovic