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The Last Landlady

An English Memoir

Laura Thompson

Paperback

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Description

Shortlisted for Harper's Bazaar Book of the Year 2019 A Guardian, Spectator and Mail on Sunday Book of the Year 2018 'A lyrical portrait of a fast-vanishing way of life . . . Thompson is a terrific writer' New Statesman Laura Thompson's grandmother Violet was one of the great landladies. Born in a London pub, she became the first woman to be given a publican's licence in her own name and, just as pubs defined her life, she seemed in many ways to embody their essence. Laura spent part of her childhood in Violet's Home Counties establishment, mesmerised by her gift for cultivating the mix of cosiness and glamour that defined the pub's atmosphere, making it a unique reflection of the national character. Her memories of this time are just as intoxicating: beer and ash on the carpets in the morning, the deepening rhythms of mirth at night, the magical brightness of glass behind the bar... Through them Laura traces the story of the English pub, asking why it has occupied such a treasured position in our culture. But even Violet, as she grew older, recognised that places like hers were a dying breed, and Laura also considers the precarious future they face. Part memoir, part social history, part elegy, The Last Landlady pays tribute to an extraordinary woman and the world she epitomised.

Unbound, 9781783528455, 272pp.

Publication Date: December 8, 2020



About the Author

Laura Thompson read English at Oxford. Her first book, The Dogs, won the Somerset Maugham Award. While living in Newmarket she wrote two books about horse racing, followed by a biography of Nancy Mitford (reissued 2019), a major study of Agatha Christie and a book about Lord Lucan. The Six, a group biography of the Mitford sisters, published in the US in 2016, was a New York Times bestseller. Her most recent book, Rex v Edith Thompson, was shortlisted for a CWA Gold Dagger award, and her biography of Agatha Christie - recently published in the US - was nominated for a 2019 Edgar Allan Poe Award.