Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tobacco in the Regency

From the first importation of tobacco into Europe, to Spain, round about 1528, folks tried various ways to get the nicotine habit. By the Regency, folks had their choice of snuff, cigars, or pipes. 

Now, snuff is a whole extensive subject I am not going to go into except to say that it leads to a snuff boxes [pictures of snuff boxes] which are the delightful byproduct of a nasty habit. If I’d been living in the Georgian era I would have collected snuff boxes and carried them about full of little fruit pastilles. [pictures of fruit pastilles]

Were there cigarettes?
Well, no. Not really. Technically there was something fairly similar to cigarettes in Spain well before the Regency. They were called papelate and based on the South American custom of wrapping cut tobacco in rolled corn husks or bark or something other than a tobacco leaf. We have paintings of Spanish folks smoking this way, but no way to tell if papelate were routinely wrapped in paper.

To see the rest of this breathlessly fascinating post, (and have a chance to win a copy of one of my books,)  head over to Word Wenches here.

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