Today I am helping to close the blog tour for the The Last Landlady a memoir written by the Granddaughter of one of the countries first Landladies. Vi was granted her licence back in the 1950’s as a divorcee who had grown up in pubs and lost her livelihood after her father died as she had never known anything other than publican life.
This is a fascinating collection of snippets consisting of memories, facts and reflections about the history of pubs through the years and the integral role the landlord/landlady plays in the atmosphere they create.
Laura Thompson recalls her earliest memories on the afternoons/evenings spent in her Grandmothers pub and the feelings connected with these and how certain songs even now can trigger her to be right there on her stool in the back of the pub listening to the chatter through the doors.
I really enjoyed reading this memoir it reflects the relationship between Landlady and her pub and the role that pubs used to play within society. This book envoked memories from when I was a child and the smell of beer that envelopes you as you enter a pub and playing in beer gardens in the summer sun.
A glimpse back into the history of a place that was once considered an integral role in the community that no longer exists in the way we once we remembered. Local pubs continue to close on a regular basis taking away the central hub villages and communities once enjoyed.
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.
Available to purchase here
About the Author
Many thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part, thank you for taking the time to read my review – please remember to like and share