Early tea and sympathy

January 6, 1995

In Stella Hughes's description of the exhibition L'Enfance au Moyen Age in Paris (THES, December 23) as another "demolition" of Aries's theory that children were not given playthings in the Middle Ages, she observes that among the children's toys revealed in manuscripts illuminations and archaeological digs are "medieval children's tea-sets". This is not demolitionary, nor even mould-breaking: it totally reconstructs cultural history. I eagerly await the first discovery of a medieval potato peeler.

ROSAMUND ALLEN English Department Queen Mary and Westfield College

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