Olivia Williams is a journalist and author. She graduated with a scholarship and a master’s degree in modern history from Oxford University. In her final year she won a Rupert Murdoch student scholarship before working as a graduate trainee at the Daily Mail. She left to write her first book, Gin Glorious Gin: How Mother’s Ruin Became the Spirit of London.
As a result of her cultural history of gin she has been a guest on Radio 4, Bloomberg, Sky Arts and CBS News. She often contributes to The Economist.com, Country Life, House & Garden, and the Evening Standard, and was shortlisted for the 2016 Richard Beeston bursary for foreign news reporting.
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Gin Glorious Gin is a vibrant cultural history of London seen through the prism of its most iconic drink. Leading the reader through the underbelly of the Georgian city via the Gin Craze, detouring through the Empire (with a G&T in hand), to the emergence of cocktail bars in the West End, the story is brought right up to date with the resurgence of class in a glass – the Ginnaissance.
As gin has crossed paths with Londoners of all classes and professions over the past three hundred years it has become shorthand for metropolitan glamour and alcoholic squalor in equal measure. In and out of both legality and popularity, gin is a drink that has seen it all.
Gin Glorious Gin is quirky, informative, full of famous faces – from Dickens to Churchill, Hogarth to Dr Johnson – and introduces many previously unknown Londoners, hidden from history, who have shaped the city and its signature drink.
Publication Date: 26 Mar. 2015