Jane Austen and Starbucks on a Sunday Morning

Ok, a silly story – but Jane Austen is the reason, so must pass on.

Setting:  Starbucks in Simsbury, Connecticut
Time:  late Sunday morning
Reason:  meeting a friend as I pass through town for a quick cup of tea with a pastry

Order: 2 medium cups of tea, 2 blueberry muffins

Posted Question of the Day:  “In What Country was the Battle of Waterloo fought?”

Prize:  20 cents off each cup of tea

So, I know this answer, say that I do to the young man behind the counter, who eyes me with a quizzical “yea, like pigs fly” look;
 “Yea, where then?” he says;
“Belgium” I say –  he is dumbstruck – says “Not one person has gotten it right all day. ”
I proudly comment to my friend “I know this of course because of Jane Austen” –
She gives me the usual, “Oh here comes the Jane Austen stuff roll-of-the-eyes-look” – the young man looks at me as though I am from another planet – but I can tell he is impressed – “everyone says France” he says…

So I get my 20 cents off, then proceed to bore my friend with the whole tale, that if you read Jane Austen, you then must learn about the Napoleonic Wars even though she frustrates all her readers of a historical bent for not even giving a mention to the fact that England and France were largely at war during her entire lifetime [not to mention those pesky colonies] …

[‘The Line Will Advance’ – Image:  BritishBattles.com]

And one of course must confess that if you have come to discover Georgette Heyer just in order to stay connected to Austen’s Regency times, then you will have read An Infamous Army, which teaches more about the ‘Battle of Waterloo’ than most textbooks on the subject…

So you see how Jane Austen widens your world?! and can save you 20 cents in the bargain?

Copyright @ 2011, by Deb Barnum at Jane Austen in Vermont

9 thoughts on “Jane Austen and Starbucks on a Sunday Morning

  1. Their next stumper should be “Who won the Battle of Waterloo?” No one today who is not into “our” era seems to know the answer to that one! Although they all seem to know who Napoleon was . . . . sigh.


    • I know – it is pathetic isn’t it! – I would expect YOU to know the answer to your question, as you “reside” at the home of the hero!

      I was pleased to find that my son [aged 35] DID know the Belgium answer right away [and he didn’t have the chance to google it! – I sprung it on him as he popped in for a visit] – but I think he is in the minority – and he reads neither Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer [though he has Pride and Projudice as one of his favorite books on his facebook page!] – so there is hope! – I shall now see if he knows the answer to your question to completely restore my faith…

      Thanks for stopping by Kristine,


  2. I’m sure you would have been given extra points if you have added that at the time, Belgium was not an independent state, but still part of the Low Countries and therefore strictly speaking the battle was fought in the territory of the United Kingdom of the Low Countries, under the rule of the House of Orange. It was only until 1830 that Belgium became independent and Leopold, the widower of princess Charlotte, their king.


    • Hello Cinthia – thanks for all that additional information! – Starbucks would have been hardput to fit all that on the answer board, and if no one knew “Belgium” one can certainly assume it would have taken at least a week to find the the rare person to supply all the completely correct info!

      Thanks for stopping by and giving us all a much needed history lesson – if I had said all that I might have gotten 40 cents off my tea!
      Best to you,


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