One of my latest finds is “Breakfasts and Teas, Novel Suggestions for Social Occasions", by Paul Pierce from 1907. There are two more books by the same author: “Dinners and Luncheons, Novel Suggestions for Social Occasions" and "Suppers, Novel Suggestions for Social Occasions". None of them includes recipes, they are “Respectfully dedicated to the overworked, perturbed American hostess in the sincere hope that the suggestions herein may lighten her perplexities and transform her work of entertaining from a task of dread to one of delight.”
Even if you entertain as seldom as I do, which is never, you might find it as amusing as I do, to read about it.
A "Book-Title" Tea. 1.
The latest novelty in afternoon entertainments in England is what is called a "book-title" tea. Of course, this would be just as amusing in the evening, and any refreshments may be served that the hostess prefers.
The guests are all expected to devise and wear some particular badge or ornament which indicates, more or less clearly, the title of some book, preferably works which are well known.
The "badges" worn may be very clever and most tastefully executed. "Dodo" may be impersonated by showing a bar of music containing the two representative notes of the tonic sol-fa method. "Little Men" is represented by a badge bearing the names of little great men, such as Napoleon, Lord Roberts, etc.
A lady may wear around her neck fragments of china tied by a ribbon. This represents "The Break-Up of China," Lord Charles Beresford's book. Another lady, whose name is Alice, may wear a necklace of little mirrors, and this represents "Alice Through A Looking Glass." An ingenious design consists of a nickel coin, a photo of a donkey, another nickel coin, and a little bee, meaning "Nickolas Nickleby." A daisy stuck into a tiny miller's hat stands for "Daisy Miller," and the letters of the word olive twisted on a wire for "Oliver Twist."
Two little gates, made of paste board and a jar, represents "Gates Ajar," and a string of little dolls dressed as men, "All Sorts and Conditions of Men." There are many other interesting and ingenious designs.