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OP: The Savoy of London

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by Compton Mackenzie

An attractive little book, lovely to browse, assembled by the great London hotel. This is a celebration of a cherished location in the city’s landscape. Once a palace and put through many transformations over the years, it emerged as the place to see and to be seen, a temple of the London elite, a Victorian hangout for the greats of music, theater, and the arts. 

The book is filled with anecdotes of figures ranging from Henry VII, who briefly turned the ruins on the site into a soaring hospital, to Sir Richard D’Oyly Carte, who built a theater where Gilbert and Sullivan made their mark. It was Sir Richard who also built the present day Savoy Hotel, where Cesar Ritz and Auguste Escoffier modernized hotels and restaurants in Britain. And it was there that Harry Craddock ran the American Bar and was known as the most highly paid barman of all time.

The Savoy of London was published by the distinguished firm of George Harrup in 1953. This 1955 printing is in lovely condition, still in its celluloid wrapper, which is unmarred. Minor flaws are a sun faded spine and a small bare patch on the front free endpaper where a price sticker was removed.  Photographs and illustrations throughout.

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