On the value of a masters degree in history

Possibly not a lot:

The first book I published, which kind of got me started on this, was “SteamDrunks: 101 Streampunk Cocktails and Mixed Drinks”… It was basically to shut up a lot of my steampunk friends, who’d bring a bottle of absinthe to a party and be like, “This is just like what they were drinking in the 1890s!”

I have a masters in history: “No, it’s not. Even Byron didn’t drink that stuff straight!”

Byron? Absinthe? 1890s?

12 thoughts on “On the value of a masters degree in history”

  1. Plenty of references to Byron drinking absinthe on the Net. No reason why he shouldn’t have : it was concocted in the 1790’s and the big Pernod Fils distillery churned out huge quantities from 1805.Byron was very quickly into things that were bad for him.The usual anti-Arts prejudice backed by ignorance in both its working-class and literal sense.

  2. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    He was talking about Wayne Byron, who used to live in Holborn and drank in The Enterprise pub, famously always avoiding absinthe when he “played the optics”.

    (did they have optics in 1890 ?)

  3. From wiki, absinthe was first distilled in the late 18th century. It became notorious in the 1890s but was certainly drunk by Charles Baudelaire (died 1867), and by Verlaine and Rimbaud in the course of their affair between 1870 – 75. It was rarely drunk neat – it was poured over a sugar cube and, often, set on fire and generally diluted with water. I think you got this wildly wrong, Tim. Byron drank absinthe. The author doesn’t seem to claim that Byron was alive and drinking in the 1890s. And it was not drunk neat.

  4. Reedy: Byron drinking absinthe on the Net? You sure you’re not mixing him up with Doctor Who? Next thing he will be photographed with a mobile phone, a mohawk and an Iron Maiden tee-shirt at the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    “The usual anti-Arts prejudice backed by ignorance in both its working-class and literal sense.”

    Working class ignorance? What kind of socialist are you? The snobbish middle-class type obviously. Most people have nothing whatsoever against art–so long as they are not being forced to pay for talent-free leftist crap.

  5. Absinthe? Just don’t go there. Got pissed on absinthe, one night. Seemed a good idea at the time. It wasn’t. Just looking at an absinthe advert is stressful,. I never want to be in the same room as a bottle ever again.
    Even reading this post has made me feel ill.

  6. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Never drank absinthe. I polished off half a litre of grappa one night with a mate (that is we each had a half litre). That did not, in retrospect, prove to be one of my better decisions. Also necked a large quantity of plum-based moonshine that a Bulgarian friend’s uncle cooked up in his shed in Plovdiv. It was about 70% ABV and tasted like acetone mixed with cough syrup. It’s a miracle it took me as long as it did to quit drinking.

  7. Nothing wrong with home brewed slivovitz. Or “prune” as a French mate labels his.
    But absinthe!! (shudders)
    It’s not the alcohol content.
    And I’m a habitual drinker of anise. And anis(seco, dulce’s vile)
    But absinthe?
    Never again.
    (I can still taste it! Even 3 years later)

  8. @Mr E
    Working class people use the word “ignorant” to mean brutally, crashingly, insensitive to the feelings of others (i.e. not a gentleman) not just being unaware of the facts.Bear that in mind.

  9. Tried absinthe; didn’t do anything for me. Cask strength scotch has a much better kick and is much less pretentious.

  10. Reedy: This member of the working class has certainly heard the phrase “pig-ignorant” which would carry the meaning you ascribe. Ignorant alone not so much-it generally means just thick.

  11. >“This is just like what they were drinking in the 1890s!”
    >
    >I have a masters in history: “No, it’s not. Even Byron didn’t drink that stuff straight!”

    He didn’t mean that Byron was around in the 1890’s.

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