When they’re talked of (which is a lot, one hopes), the Bronte sisters (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne) aren’t usually referred to as party animals. This is, of course, a crying shame. As their books are filled with well-rounded characters, and usually contain a wee tipple or tippling, or a bar, and mostly entertaining writing that pulls you in, as opposed to pushing you out, my thought is that for the years they lived within the sisters were a rollicking good time, and probably were thought of somewhat in the same way we think of modern party animal writers like J. Robert Lennon and Andrew Greer (at least when those two modern scribes are wearing hoop skirts). In any case, the Spiked Punch is going to dwell for two posts on quotes from Charlotte’s novel Shirley, published in 1849 and as worthy a read (I think) as her much more fawned over Jane Eyre (though admittedly I like me the Jane Eyre, too). This first quote falls into the “bar” shelf in the Cocktail Talk kitchen, and describes lovingly a 1800s watering hole (and I have a confession–I think longingly of whisky-and-water myself on occasion):
He looked for certain landmarks–the spire of Briarfield Church; farther on, the lights of Redhouse. This was an inn; and when he reached it, the glow of a fire through a half-curtained window, a vision of glasses on a round table, and of revelers on an oaken settle, had nearly drawn aside the curate from his course. He thought longingly of a tumbler of whisky-and-water.
—Shirley, Charlotte Bronte