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Whilst doing the research for ‘Langbourne’ I came accross a number if fascinating facts in anecdotes about the Langbourne brothers, some of which I will include for the reader’s interest.  Having lived in Africa most of my life, I could relate to many of these stories and events, but sometimes writing about them in the book was not the right platform.  However here I can discuss some incidents in more detail.​




The Grand Hotel features heavily in ‘Langbourne’.  It began as a simple house in 1867 and sometime around 1885, after some extensions including over 20 rooms, it became known as ‘The Grand Hotel’.


The decor of the hotel was plush, opulent and extravagant, especially for the late 1800’s.  A notable feature of the interior of the hotel were the mounted animal heads that were displayed prominently on the walls of the Reception and Dining Room.


As it was obviously a very elegant and exclusive establishment, men and women were required to be suitably dressed at all times.


The Grand Hotel

The owner of The Grand Hotel at the time the brothers were there was a Mr. Walter Bunton.  After he passed away his wife took the hotel over and owned it until 1921.  In the story I have introduce a character called Mrs. Bunting as the Food and Beverage Manager.  Obviously this character is not intended to be the original Mrs. Bunton, but I chose a similar name attempting to keep within the character of this exotic and historic hotel.  The Bunton family do not feature in the book.


Although it looks nothing like it did in 1891 when the Langbourne brothers entered its front door, The Grand Hotel still exists to this day.


Photos by kind permission of The Grand Hotel, Port Elizabeth.

Visiting The Grand Hotel (2015)

In March 2015 I was visiting South Africa doing more research for ‘Rebellion’ and took a drive to Port Elizabeth to have a look at The Grand Hotel in person and met with the current owner, Mark Stemmett.


The hotel has changed quite radically since it’s glorious days in the late 1800s, but Mark is making great progress to restore it to it’s former glory.  The bedrooms are fantastic, still in the style of its former days.  Some rooms have en suites, and others use a communal bathroom down the hall.


The street sign, Whites Road and Belmont Terrace, as depicted in the story with David, is exactly as I imagined it to be, and oddly enough, it was seeing the street sign that had so much meaning for me.


The dining room, where the Langbourne brothers conducted their evening business from, still exists today. I had no idea which table they would have sat at, but chose one for the fun of it.  We will never really know.


I wish Mark much success in restoring this amazing hotel back to its original glory!

I really do recommend these books, full of interesting history.

Elaine Johnson

Durban, South Africa

What a great read - whether you are from Africa or not - get this book - you will not want to put it down! Looking forward to the next story!! 

Bryan Loxton

Wellington, New Zealand

This is a great debut book from Alan Landau.

Fiona Hawkins

Amazon Review

This writing is riveting and couldn’t put it down.  When is the next book???

Joy M Johnson

Amazon Review

Slept in Alan because I couldn't put it down last night!!

Love, love, love this book!!!

Alissa Rhule

Queensland, Australia

Yay. Just finished the first one and now all my friends want to read it.

Nadine Fairweather

Facebook Comment

Loved reading the book> Had a guest staying and he could not put the book down and got up at night to finish it before leaving.

Alta Oosthuizen

Cape Town, South Africa

I'm sad, Alan...

I reached the end of the book and I want more!!! 

Nancy Wiseman

Boston, USA was a wonderful read and so well written. When I picked it up I could not stop and finished it in record time. Well done...I look forward to reading more of your books!

Jacques De Jongh

South Africa

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The first book in the ‘Langbourne’ series. Set in 1891 it tells the story of two young Irish brothers who set sail for Africa to seek a better life. Based on a true story and actual events.

Langbournes Rebellion


The second book in the ‘Langbourne’ series. This book continues the fascinating story of the Langbourne brothers as they explore deeper into Africa’s heartland, encountering the perils, fears and joys of this most mysterious continent. Based on a true story and actual historical events, this story is told from the perspective of these two young entrepreneurs.

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