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The Last Landlady: An English Memoir

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  13 reviews
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 license in her own name and, just as pubs defined her life, she seemed to embody their essence.

Laura spent part of her childhood in her grandmother's Home Counties establishment, mesmerised by the landlady's gift for cre
Published September 6th 2018 by Unbound Digital
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Average rating 3.31  · 
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 ·  39 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Jan 07, 2019 marked it as wish-list

Last chance saloon : The ‘casual profundity’ of a proper pub

"It's like we elected the guy at the end of the bar to be president, and now we're all stuck in the bar with him."
— Chris Hayes on President Trump's comments to the press
Rachel Bridgeman
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Huge thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the blog tour invite and Unbound for my paperback review copy of ‘The Last Landlady’ by Laura Thompson which is out now.

The grandmother of the author comes to life in this memoir of a woman who was the first to hold a publican licence in the UK.

As Laura says-

”She described a dull-lit,part-colored world of dishevelment and discomfort,of ashy grates and a single rusting tap,of cold rotting wood in an outside p
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I like memoirs, but that is not the reason why I picked up this book. I saw it mentioned in an article about books that make you laugh, and I thought I would test some of them. I tried one candidate fot the PG Wodehouse prize - what a mistake. Why is it so difficult to write funny books? This book is entertaining, though I cannot say I laughed

Laura Thompson spent many a happy childhood hour in the pub run by a grandmother she adored. It is a labour of love for her to recreate the pe
June Louise
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
In this book, the author recounts her childhood memories in the public house owned by her grandmother, Violet. It describes Violet’s fight to own the pub, in a time when being a landlady was not considered to be an appropriate livelihood for women, and the ways in which she built the place up from being a down-at-heel country inn to a thriving and popular establishment, despite the odds. The author describes the customers who frequented the pub and the theatrical atmosphere of the pub (where she ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an English Memoir, as it states in the subtitle. No where else could a character like Violet, the last landlady of the book, exist, nowhere else could the pub exist, and nowhere else could Thompson view her youthful memories of “public houses” in such a way. This is the story, though not told in a straight narrative, rather a collection of impressions, of a woman, only truly alive on the stage of her pub, and it is also the story of a now lost institution. The pub as described in this we ...more
The Literary Shed
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I was reading Laura Thompson’s beautifully penned The Last Landlady, I was trying to think about why I love memoir and biography so much. What it is about these genres that so enthralls. And when they’re done well, they are enthralling, the writers weaving us into the subjects’ worlds so tightly that we’re there with them, cheering them on at the peaks, and suffering alongside them at the devastating troughs. Essentially, they’re love letters, the result of the authors’ utter fascination, p ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
What’s your tipple dear reader? Care to wet your whistle on a pint of deliciously elegant writing that transports you to the very heart of an English pub? A time before the smoking ban and the thick fog was a welcomed regular while the likes of Peggy Lee sang you into a happy drunken sleep. A place that was often considered a second home, a family. Pull up a stool and get this down ya while I tell you a tale about this charming little pub I know. Bottoms up.

I always enjoy reading a m
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
The Last Landlady is a memoir written by the Granddaughter of one of the countries first Landladies who was granted her licence back in the 1950s as a divorcee who had grown up in pubs and lost her licence after her father died due to the rules at the time.

This is a fascinating collection of snippets 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
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gifts
I really enjoyed the first and third part of this book. I really liked the slightly unusual writing style and the author's stories about her grandmother and the pub she ran and her experiences with her grandmother. I also quite enjoyed the third section about the changing nature of pubs. Unlike the author, I kind of think they are good changes (no smoking in pubs, just for a start). But I did find the middle section a bit mystifying - I couldn't quite figure out what it was about. I love the cov ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Loved the first section of the book, but thereafter found the book repetitive and to be honest boring. Three stars only for the first section.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well I rather liked it. It captures perfectly the atmosphere that an old pub has to a small child. It really took me back.
Kathy Manchester
too much of the same over and over - flat tone
Jul 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't get into it. Left it after two chapters.
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Please note: Laura Thompson's account is mistakenly merged with another author's account by the same name. Goodreads Librarians are working to solve the issue.

Laura Thompson writes about life - and is unapologetic in what she captures. She is a sexual assault survivor, has navigated near death traumas with her daughters' medical issues, and possesses the ability to capture what is true, honest, a