Cosy Reads: A Natural History of Dragons + Mariage Frères Marco Polo

Welcome to Cosy Reads, a post series that pairs a good book with a good tea!

Marco Polo is one of the most delightful teas in my cabinet, and one I always suggest to guests. It is an adventurous, rich tea, and I’ve yet to find someone not won over by it. Similarly, Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons, is a book that I recommend to every member of the reading public that I meet. And I’ve yet to meet a soul that was not enchanted.

The Tea

Mariage Frères ’ most famous secret is this mysterious blend that takes you to distant lands and strange countries.

My shameless love of Mariage Frères is no secret, and this blend is not only one of the signature blends of this company, but also one of my cabinet staples. It makes a smooth, rich tea with a malty shadow of sweetness. The intrigue starts as soon as the canister is opened – the extraordinary scent demands more investigation. Brew for a short time if you like a light, sprightly tea, or brew for longer if you want a hint of bitterness to chase each mouthful.

Drink this black for a wondrous moment of enjoyment and stillness. This is a perfectly balanced blend that nevertheless has the strength to hold some milk and, if you have a sweet-tooth, a touch of honey or sugar. Either way, this is a cup of tea you won’t want to finish.

Steeping Temperature: 95°C                Steeping Time: 4 – 5 minutes

The Book

 . . . combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age . . .

Though this book promises (and does deliver) dragons, this is the story of Isabella Camhurst, and science, and anthropology, and exploration, and the infuriating social barriers stunting discovery and progress. This is the first of Marie Brennan’s books that I have read, and the entire series is now shelved amongst my lifelong favourites. This book is unashamedly and ecstatically about  discovery and adventure.

A Natural History of Dragons is the first in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series. Really, I just can’t recommend this series enough. The covers are beautiful, and the pages are peppered with beautiful illustrations by Todd Lockwood. My adored favourite is In the Labyrinth of Drakes, and Lindzi loved The Voyage of the Basilisk very much. The complete series looks very handsome indeed on the shelf, though in our house, we rarely have all the series shelved at the same time. There’s always one being read.

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist . . .

Written in the style of a memoir, A Natural History of Dragons follows Isabella from girlhood to adulthood. This book has the most wonderful and endearing cast of characters. It is in the people that support Isabella, who encourage opportunities, who believe in, admire and value her, that this story has its heart.

If you’re a fan of natural science, fantastical alternate histories and memoirs, you’ll like this book. And if you enjoyed the movie The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, you might just enjoy this also!




Find Marie Brennan here, and find Mariage Frères here.



Have you read A Natural History of Dragons? Tell me your thoughts, or leave a suggestion for a future Cosy Read!




  1. Both sound lovely! I will have to check them both out. I really enjoyed Mariage Frères’ Earl Grey Imperial I tried at La Belle Miette, so I would love to try more of their tea! 😍

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