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Amen!

 

The internet is a magnificent tool. Very entertaining and educational at the same time.

 

Besides, I can shop from my computer and avoid the crowds.......which we were in most of the day yesterday.

 

Precious was proud of me. I was toast!

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Steampunk can be relative, I guess. An old IBM PC keyboard would be nice. They were built like tanks, and had gold contacts for each key.

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I prefer the term Neo-Victorian, myself. I don't go for collecting or dressing "steam punk," but I've probably spent weeks looking at the stuff online. Beautiful craftsmanship for the most part. Absinthe and Steampunk do seem a match made in heaven. :D

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I prefer the term Neo-Victorian, myself. I don't go for collecting or dressing "steam punk," but I've probably spent weeks looking at the stuff online. Beautiful craftsmanship for the most part. Absinthe and Steampunk do seem a match made in heaven. :D

 

I suppose it depends on the popularity of absinthe in England and its colonies during the Victorian and Edwardian eras (1837-1910). Where the Belle Epoque era was also running at the same time (1871-1914), steampunk is largely a British Empire focused/themed genre (and occasionally the US and/or the American West)...though I have heard some interesting things coming up with France in mind. Steampunk Belle Epoque could be a good deal of fun, and definitely would go hand-in-hand with absinthe (the two would have to be inseparable, really). Speaking with someone at a recent steampunk conference, she feels that food and drink, particularly cocktails are the next steampunk "frontier", and that could leave open some interesting options and perhaps a wider spread of cocktail and absinthe education, given the state of pre-prohibition cocktails during the turn of the century.

 

I have also noticed a blend of art nouveau and steampunk. Ideologically, his makes my skin crawl a bit.

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Shit people !

 

I am freshly fiancéed (at still am, not sure whether I should thank Scott or not), and while the date is not set, the theme is (geek and chic). Her wedding dress and my groom's costume will both be proudly brassed-and-leathered steampunk.

 

And oooooh boy mark my words, there will definitely be absinthe pouring, and high grade stuff too.

 

So don't you dare go around hypothesizing whether absinthe may or may have not been English enough for it to be steampunk or not. It was, end of the discussion.

 

And though it's in my veins to say the opposite as often as may, England is France's twin sister. Our cultures and vocabularies are so intertweened that sometimes we don't even know which invented which word (as it happens their national anthem is about one of our kings' anal fistula). That, and I'm a fan of Doctor Who like any good Brit.

The only difference between both is that one of them was too fond of absinthe to let it go after 1915. No, I'm not talking about France (that, or Hemingway died faaaaaaaaaar sooner than I expected)

 

Absinthe and steampunk ? Hell yeah, what else ?

Edited by Clement Arnoux (Aggelos)

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Fair enough. The biggest element of steampunk (other than brown) is truly the fact that it's fantasy-history. Even if something isn't historically accurate, there's no reason it couldn't be in a steampunk world. I was just wondering if there was some historical backing for this or not, because I've been surprised at how little absinthe I've seen involved in the genre (misappropriated or otherwise), and I wonder if that has to do with it being a greater cultural phenomenon in France than in England. Bottom line: steampunk is made up and even if a steampunk persona felt like drinking absinthe, they can have a make-believe reason for why this is an alt-historically appropriate thing to do. It's all about having the right back-story to tie the cultural blending together, whether it's a true or fabricated backstory. :euro:

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I suppose it depends on the popularity of absinthe in England and its colonies during the Victorian and Edwardian eras (1837-1910).

 

 

Absinthe was popular everywhere, also in England

 

"For more than a century gin has been the popular spirit among the masses of England. Of late, however,

absinthe has a great extent taken the place of gin. In the East End of London one may see an endless

succession of attractive advertisments in the public-house windows relating to "Absinthe hot."

Absinthe proper is actually French in its origin, and is a poison.

It is a distillation of brandy infused with wormwood that is it is

so theoretically. The absinthe of commerce, as retailed in England to-day,

however, is a very different beverage.

It sometimes bears a French label, but that is only a farce, and covers a concoction far more vile in its elements

and results than even absinthe itself, and that is bad enough. It is a shortcut to the insane asylum, and the grave,

and is called by the doctor Absinthism."

 

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If you're implying that absinthe was popular in England because you found an article talking about how French absinthe is poison and there were some English faux-sinthe joints that were opening up...that doesn't really prove anything.

 

Does anyone have any real research confirming or denying its popularity in the UK? It's not just something that interests me, but could be of use to the handful of steampunk writers who I know.

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No, as a matter of fact, there are already a few markers of the presence and the appreciation of absinthe in Victorian England and also later. Wilde, Crowley, Hemingway, there is definitely something there... But they are part of a very specific demographic subset : wild-spirited upperclass men.

 

What the article points to is actually that some absinthe was distributed to the commoners, with the same risks and consequences as in France at the same time.

 

Still no proof, but enough material not to consider the thing as excluded.

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Sure, it's just an article in an Australian newspaper saying that absinthe was so popular in the UK that it was also produced there.


As Aggelos says there is lots of evidence of French and Swiss absinthe being imported into the UK and the British colonies.

One example is Camille Pelletan's "Absinthe Pel-Temps and Ship Chandlering company" closing its London office in 1913:

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/28698/pages/1866/page.pdf, but there are lots of references in newspapers etc.


I don't know why England would be the only place in the world where absinthe was not extremely popular at the time?

Anyway absinthe was popular enough in England that at least one nice absinthe glass was produced there :holiday:

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I'll be talking about The Savoy (which is not wholly typical) and 1930 (whereas Ambear specifies "1837-1910"). In 1930, The Savoy was able to capitalise on long-term well-heeled American tourists (during prohibition).

 

But in general terms, absinthe consumption in the UK was always a tiny fraction of France before the ban. After the ban in France and Switzerland, drinking absinthe in London may have gained more of a cachet ("you know, this is illegal in France"). It was included in more cocktails, but only in small quantities, as in the Corpse Reviver 2.

 

But really "popular?" No.

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No, as a matter of fact, there are already a few markers of the presence and the appreciation of absinthe in Victorian England and also later. Wilde, Crowley, Hemingway, there is definitely something there...

 

Wilde drank absinthe while living in France, although actual first-hand references to it by him are scant. Hemingway was an American who drank absinthe in Spain and possibly Cuba in the post-ban era (he was only thirteen years old when it was banned in the US) and Crowley came to absinthe by way of New Orleans.

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Crowley actually lived for a while in Paris (in the Montparnasse area), between 1900 and 1903 when he wasn't travelling in other countries. He was also introduced to a number of writers/artists while he was there by Gerald Kelly, Le Chat Blanc being their primary cafe of residence...I imagine he would have encountered absinthe around this time. He wouldn't have been in New Orleans until the end of 1916.

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As a side, steampunk note, there is a rather pleasant Steampunk Conventiona being held in the area of Seattle, WA, USA in... October? I think. I'll have to double check. They've done panels on absinthe before, but the people on the panel knew jack all about the science behind absinthe. I'm hoping to fix that for any future panels on absinthe that are done there. :)

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The Steampunk World's Fair in this weekend in NJ. I may go on Sunday. They have absinthe tastings all day Sat, but I can't make it, and it's likely a good thing... I suspect there's a lot of bad absinthe going around, and a couple that know something as well. One of the presenters refers to himself as an "absinthe brewer," but others may be more informed. The folks in charge seem very nice however, and and are open to me being involved next year, to do a presentation that will be memorable and shed some light on things, using antiques from the era. Don't ask me to wear leather-covered welding goggles though....

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