Thomas Harding

Legacy
  • Legacy

  • Thomas Harding

    A panoramic new history of modern Britain, as told through the story of one extraordinary family, and one groundbreaking company.

    In the early 1800s Lehmann Gluckstein and his family escaped the pogroms of Eastern Europe and made their way to Whitechapel in the East End of London. There, starting with nothing, they worked tirelessly to pull themselves out of poverty, creating a small tobacco factory that quickly grew to become the largest catering company in the world: J. Lyons.

    For over a century, Lyons was everywhere. Its restaurants and corner houses were on every high street, its coffee and tea in every cup, its products in every home. By bringing the world to the British people, the company transformed the way we eat, drink and are entertained – democratising luxury and globalising our tastes. But it was a victory that was not easily won – a story of the virtue of hard work, perseverance and an indomitable spirit in the face of repeated obstacles: poverty, hatred and injustice. It is a tale that is rarely told, of an immigrant family’s journey from rags to riches: the story of the British Dream.

    Legacy charts the rise and fall of one of the most influential dynasties in British history through the lives of five astonishing generations, bound together by an unbreakable code. This is a sweeping yet intimate work of history, filled with stories of sacrifice and selflessness, betrayal and personal tragedy, Empire and its cost, and success on an unimaginable scale. It is also an illuminating new exploration of Britain and its place in the world, from the bestselling author of Hanns and Rudolf and The House by the Lake.

Thomas Harding is an author and journalist who has written for the Financial Times, the Sunday Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, among other publications. He co-founded a television station in Oxford, England, and for many years was an award-winning documentary maker. He also ran a local newspaper in West Virginia, winning the West Virginia Association of Justice’s Journalist of the Year Award, before moving back to England in 2011, where he now lives with his family. He is the author of Hanns and Rudolf, a Sunday Times bestseller and winner of the JQ-Wingate Prize; the internationally acclaimed Kadian Journal: A Father’s Story; The House by the Lake, a Costa Biography Award and Orwell Prize nominee; and Blood on the Page, winner of the 2018 Golden Dagger Award for Non-Fiction.