Putting the Tea in Britain Launch at the Islay Book Festival


Les Wilson will be in conversation with broadcaster Sally Magnusson at the Islay Book Festival to discuss his latest book about the Scots who made our national drink.

About this event
Join us for the launch of Les Wilson’s latest book, Putting the Tea in Britain.

From the Indian Mutiny to the London Blitz, offering a ‘nice cup of tea’ has been a stock British response to a crisis. But tea itself has a dramatic, and often violent, history. That history is inextricably interwoven with the story of Scotland. Scots were overwhelmingly responsible for the introduction and development of the UK’s national drink, and were the foremost pioneers in the development of tea as an international commodity.

This book reveals how Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon and Africa all owe their thriving tea industries to pioneering work by Scottish adventurers and entrepreneurs. It’s a dramatic tale. Many of these men jeopardised their lives to lay the foundation of the tea industry. Many Scots made fortunes – but it is a story with a dark side in which racism, the exploitation of native peoples and environmental devastation was the price paid for ‘a nice cup of tea’.

In conversation with broadcaster Sally Magnusson, Les Wilson brings the story right up to date, with a look at the recent development of tea plantations in Scottish hills and glens.

This will be an online event brought to you in association with Birlinn and The Celtic House, with sponsorship from Tiree Tea.

Signed copies of the book will be available to order from The Celtic House during the launch, but in the meantime you can also pre-order the book (unsigned) here

  • Share:
Thursday 03 Jun 2021
United Kingdom