From the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, SHOPPING, SEDUCTION & MR SELFRIDGE, comes MIDNIGHT MOTHER: the true story of Kate Meyrick – the most notorious nightclub owner in 1920s London.
Evenings in 1920s Soho would find the era’s most famous, influential and intriguing personalities heading to Gerrard Street. Their destination was the capital’s most notorious late-night joint: Kate ‘Ma’ Meyrick’s nightclub, the ‘43’.
At a Kate Meyrick establishment – all flaunting Britain’s absurdly restrictive licensing laws – members were guaranteed a fast, furious and fun night’s entertainment. They could illegally drink into the small hours, hear some of the best music in town and foxtrot with the most fleet-footed, fabulously attractive hostesses in London.
Proprietor, Kate, had seized the apocalyptic post-war years to forge a daring life outside the stultifying confines of a bitterly unhappy marriage. Yet she famously took her customers – many of them the typically lost souls of the jazz-age – under her motherly wing. Stars such as Rudolph Valentino and Tallulah Bankhead danced the night away next to the cream of moneyed high society. Champion sportsmen, high-stakes gamblers and millionaire fraudsters flocked to Kate’s clubs – the ‘43’, the Manhattan and the Silver Slipper amongst them. All life was here and their stories and scandals fill the pages of Midnight Mother.
Nonetheless, as Kate’s success grew, her burgeoning empire was soon viewed by the establishment, the church, the right-wing inflammatory press and many contemporary commentators as indicative of frightening social upheaval, rippling with decadence and drugs.
For many revelers, the anticipation of a police raid made their night even more thrilling. For the corrupt policeman heading up Soho’s Vice Squad, it meant a tidy sum stashed away in bribes offered to ‘look the other way’. For Mrs Meyrick, it meant a decade during which the authorities sent her to Holloway no less than five times. But Kate didn’t care. The notoriety that came with each arrest was good for business.
A fabulous storyteller, bestseller Lindy Woodhead brings Kate Meyrick and many of the customers who crossed her threshold to wonderfully vivid life. Against the backdrop of a country recovering from the horrific consequences of the Great War, Midnight Mother goes behind the popular façade of 1920s’ fast-living, frivolous partying to explore the darker side of the tormented generation who ‘danced to forget’.
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From the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, SHOPPING, SEDUCTION & MR SELFRIDGE, comes MIDNIGHT MOTHER: the true story of Kate Meyrick – the most notorious nightclub owner in 1920s London.About the Author:
Lindy Woodhead worked in international fashion for over twenty-five years before taking up her writing career. Her first book, War Paint, traced the emergence of the luxury beauty business, her second was the Sunday Times bestseller, Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge. Lindy is married with two sons and lives in London and France.
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