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Back to the Local by Maurice Gorham
Back to the Local is published by Faber & Faber in paperback at £10.

Maurice Gorham

Back to the Local

Illustrated by Edward Ardizzone

In this love letter to the London pub, our genial guide takes the reader through all aspects of the local hostelry as it was in the 1940s – a time of dark wood, dark corners and dark beer. Back to the Local is a fascinating nostalgic ramble around the post-war pubs of London: we are introduced to The Regulars and Barmaids Old and New; we venture into the familiar surroundings of the Saloon Lounge, Saloon Bar and Public Bar and squeeze into possibly the lesser known Jug-And-Bottle Bar, where customers queue to buy ale to drink elsewhere; we learn about ‘lost’ drinks such as ‘The Mother-in-Law’ or ‘The Snort’. A truly memorable pub crawl, illustrated by the wonderfully atmospheric drawings of Edward Ardizzone.

This edition includes a fold-out map showing the pubs featured in the book which are still trading, plus a new preface by Robert Elms.

One of the Financial Times’ Best Summer Books of 2024

“Probably the most delightful and evocative book ever produced on the English pub.” — Slightly Foxed.

“Wonderful… a detailed study of life in London pubs.” — Islington Tribune.

“Both a historical document and a time capsule that stands the test of time, from its charming illustrations by Gorham’s collaborator, artist Edward Ardizzone, to the index of London taverns that are (largely) mostly still open.” — Róisín Lanigan, Irish Independent.

“A book that glows like the logs on an open fire or the ruddy features of the regular ordering another glass of Burton.” — Andy Miller, author of A Year of Dangerous Reading and co-host of the Backlisted podcast.

“A little gem of a book.” — Henry Jeffreys, author of Empire of Booze and Vines in a Cold Climate.