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The Great British cuppa: an enduring symbol of national unity? The Book of Tea (Thames & Hudson pounds 30) lavishly illustrates the history of a drink which has been, for 5000 years, the aim of travel and conquest, the object of ritual and myth, an art form. Anthony Burgess's preface tells us that Pepys first drank tea in 1660, and that Dr Johnson's teapot held two litres. Left, taking tea in England, c1740 (until late in the 18th century, cups had no handles).