- David Brandon
15th April 2010
London's pubs and other drinking places, just like its people, its history, traditions and institutions, are fascinating and extraordinarily diverse. This book provides a readable introduction to aspects of the role they have played in the history of the metropolis. What were the differences between taverns and alehouses? What was a 'gin palace'? Where do coffee-houses fit into London's liquid history? Have any of London's great coaching inns survived? Who was 'Polly' and why did she draw customers to 'Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese' in Fleet Street? Who was Charlie Brown of the Railway Tavern in the West India Dock Road? This wide-ranging book traces the evolution of London's drinking houses from the earliest times. It suggests that some of the best of today's hostelries have a history, atmosphere and tradition that mean that visiting them and appreciating the role they have played is essential to an understanding of London as it is today.