A History of the English Pub
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20 years of research in pubs pays off! The pub has been at the centre of English life for centuries, but how has this unique institution developed over the years? In a new book called The Local - A History of the English Pub, author Paul Jennings, Historian and Course Leader for the Local & Regional Studies Programme at the University, looks at how the pub has evolved from the coaching inn and the humble alehouse, through back-street beerhouses and 'fine flaring' gin palaces to the drinking establishments of the 21st century. Covering all aspects of pub life, The Local examines pubs in town and country. It identifies key trends, discusses architecture and internal design, and looks at customers and their varied activities in pubs as well as the men and women who ran them. The story is set throughout in the wider context of social change. Paul Jennings said: "This book is the product of over 20 years researching the history of the pub. "The greater part of that work has inevitably been in libraries and archives, but it has also been informed by my observations working in a pub for some years in the Lake District and helping out in an Irish bar on New York's 8th Avenue, as well as from a customer's point of view. "My research has taken me to some depressing places and I've witnessed some dispiriting behaviour, but the pub has also provided me with real pleasure. For example, I recall fondly the Castle Hotel in Oldham Street, Manchester, the Albert Hotel in Keighley, and the Princess Louise in Holborn - three very different establishments which feature in the book."