Enter the World of Food, Fashion and Tea At Livingston Public Library

By Dawn M. Chiossi

Tea, food, fashion: The very words conjure up gracious, graceful, and lovely images from another era. Elegant images of beautifully coiffed men and women eating and drinking off of fine china, socializing and taking a respite from the day. To be sure, they are images that are quite foreign to the busyness and convenience of 21st century living.  

Livingston Public Library invites residents to take a mini-break from the 21st century world with their very first Food, Fashion and Tea from Jane Austen to Queen Victoria Program set to be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m.

Made possible by the Friends of the Livingston Public Library, there is a limit of 25 people.

In enjoying this presentation facilitated by tea expert and historian Judith Krall-Russo, audience members are sure to be entranced with details from another time. Krall-Russo will share the similarities of tea, fashion and more of the Regency and Victorian Eras. Additionally, audience members will discover how the Industrial Era had an impact on both of them.

More than just a talk, this presentation will offer visuals and a question and answer session.

Attendees are invited to envelop themselves in a world where food and tea wasn’t something to be guzzled on the run, where the clothing people wore on their bodies wasn’t about comfort or convenience as much as it was about showing beauty, class and status.

Anyone who has an affinity for history, romance, and splendor is sure to enjoy this intriguing presentation.

The idea came from Melissa Brisbin, head supervisor of the Patron Services from the Livingston Public Library, simply by word of mouth. Brisbin heard how Krall-Russo could just draw people in with her presentations, and this particular one was enthusiastically well received at previous libraries, particularly the one Brisbin used to work in at Cherry Hill.

 “Judith Krall-Russo has a lifelong love of foods,” says Brisbin. “She is a wonderful presenter, educator, tea expert and food historian. She comes highly recommended.”

Brisbin says she instinctively knew that the Food, Fashion and Tea from Jane Austen to Queen Victoria Presentation would be an ideal fit for the Livingston Public Library because in the past both their historical and tea programs were eagerly embraced by the public.

“With the explosion of Downtown Abbey BBC and British TV, programs like this are gobbled up,” Brisbin tells.  “Events like this are our biggest draws.”

To enhance the experience of long ago, in addition to listening to the presentation, light refreshments will be served. Brisbin is leaning towards tea and mini-scones.

Members will have the opportunity to bring the experience home with them as the library will also have books available for checkout that will have similar themes to the presentation.

“They will be a potpourri a mix of BBC DVD’s, fiction, non-fiction, audiobooks, large print, cookbooks, books on tea and teatime and an assortment of history,” Brisbin explains.

Perhaps no one is anticipating the program as much as Brisbin, herself, disclosing that she is eagerly anticipating the history aspect of the presentation.

“I can’t wait to hear how the two eras are connected and their differences,” she enthuses. “The program hits on all my interests of history, tea, and fashion. I’m looking forward to all of it!”

For further information or details, contact the Livingston Public Library at 973-992-4600 or visit www.livingstonpubliclibrary.org.

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