This entry describes conviviality as it was practised in the eighteenth century with distinctions between sociability and conviviality. It also describes the use of the term, and the specific rituals associated with convivial culture.
Gin and the Gin Craze
The juniper-flavoured spirit, gin, was highly popular in the eighteenth century. The ‘Gin Craze’ swept through the poorer districts of London in particular, leading to widespread concern that its deleterious effects on the health of the labouring classes could precipitate a national decline.
The tea-table is an object, an event, and an idea, the context of which is the emergence of tea drinking in Britain in the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. As an item of furniture, the tea-table is a small table, imported from Asia or of domestic manufacture, whose purpose was to facilitate tea drinking.