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2 September 2014
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George Cruikshank - art, alcohol and satire

'First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.' (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Fitzroy Tavern
Fitzroy Tavern Back to the 800x600 map
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Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London
London's main artistic centre from the mid-twenties up until the end of the second world war took its name - Fitzrovia - from the Victorian pub on the corner of Charlotte and Windmill Streets that formed its epicentre.

In its beery fug writers, poets and artists boozed, debated, gossiped and scrapped alongside local characters such as Albert Pierrepoint, the last public hangman, Prince Monolulu, a peacock-plumed bookie and the black magician Alaistair Crowley.

Dylan Thomas and Augustus John were regulars and rivals (Thomas married John's young 'protegé' Caitlin Macnamara) but the dishevelled, Queen of the Fitzroy was the artist-mistress-muse-model Nina Hamnett who been everywhere and known everyone - Picasso, Diaghilev, Modigliani, Cocteau, Roger Fry, Henri Gaudier Brzeska - and who spent the last three decades of her life - she died in 1956 - trading anecdotes for drinks.

Louisa Buck

Listen to Manager, Peter Deiuliis:

Listen to Peter talk past artistic regulars Talk about artistic regulars and their drinking culture

Listen to Peter talk about the pubs artworks Talk about the the artworks in the pub.

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