‘I absolutely love this book. It has all Thomas Harding's signature skills. Humanity, wisdom and wit in one great story’ - Tracy Oberman
A meticulously researched account of the colossal achievements of a single family over six generations. The entrepreneurial spirit bursts out of the pages." - Kipper Williams.
’It’s easy to forget now how the British catering empire Lyons and Company (of Corner House fame) dominated British taste and consumer habits for generations. It was the world’s biggest food retailer for much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and its genius lay in the ability of one family to anticipate what British consumers wanted before they knew themselves. Thomas Harding has excavated his own family history. It begins with his ancestor Lehmann Gluckstein arriving in the east end of London as a penniless refugee. It culminates in a business empire that dominated every high street in the country, catering to an emerging middle class that had, for the first time, money in its pocket and wanted to dine out affordably. This is the family that democratised consumer spending and defined British taste for generations. It is an astonishing story, beautifully and lovingly told, of powerful family patriarchs, of love stories and business feuds, of family tragedies and commercial triumphs, and of a rags-to-riches journey through risk, jeopardy and fortitude. It is a rich and telling portrait of the immigrant contribution to the character of Britain. And above all it is a compelling tale of family members, conscious of their foreign origins and outsider status, driven more than anything by their loyalty toward and love for each other. .’ - Allan Little
‘This extraordinarily rich and meticulously researched history of modern Britain is a tour de force. It’s a paean to the immigrant contribution to our nation.’ - Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller
‘This story of the family behind the Lyons Corner Houses and many other ventures, its rise and its business demise, is endlessly fascinating and hard to put down. I read it all in one sitting, enjoying the colour and grandeur, whilst spitting with fury at how women were kept out of the financial loop. Full of character and characters, this is a tour de force.’ - Rabbi Julia Neuberger
‘In this fascinating history of the dynasty that founded and developed J. Lyons & Company, Thomas Harding provides his readers with an illuminating insight into the lives of the founders and their descendants. This is an impressively researched account of one of Britain’s most well known corporations, one which dominated the business scene from the 1920s through to the 1980s. Yet this book is much more than a family saga. Through the lens of the Salmons and Glucksteins, the author provides authoritative accounts of the changing social, economic and political landscape both in Britain and further afield. It is a book to be recommended to all those who are interested in family and business histories and to those who are keen to learn more about the changing face of Britain in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.’ - Anne J Kershen. Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Queen Mary University of London
‘Legacy is not only the story of a family that changed the culture and fate of a nation, it is a lasting testament to the power that individuals have in influencing the lives of others. It is also about the success of immigrants guided by faith, courage and vision. Legacy is a must-read for all interested in the history of the United Kingdom, the dynamics of a nation that witnessed so many rapid changes from the mid-19th century to the present day. The narrative of this dynamic family, that changed the lives of every person here in the UK to the present day, is brilliantly narrated by its author, Thomas Harding.’ - Rabbi Stuart Altshuler