The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age

The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age Details

Named one of the 10 Best Books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review
 
“Damrosch brings the Club’s redoubtable personalities — the brilliant minds, the jousting wits, the tender camaraderie — to vivid life…” The New York Times Book Review

In 1763, the painter Joshua Reynolds proposed to his friend Samuel Johnson that they invite a few friends to join them every Friday at the Turk’s Head Tavern in London to dine, drink, and talk until midnight. Eventually the group came to include among its members Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Edward Gibbon, and James Boswell. It was known simply as “the Club.”  
 
In this captivating book, Leo Damrosch brings alive a brilliant, competitive, and eccentric cast of characters. With the friendship of the “odd couple” Samuel Johnson and James Boswell at the heart of his narrative, Damrosch conjures up the precarious, exciting, and often brutal world of late eighteenth‑century Britain. This is the story of an extraordinary group of people whose ideas helped to shape their age, and our own.

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Title:The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age
ISBN:9780300217902
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    The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age Reviews

  • Faith

    “They were great talkers because they knew and did so much, and many of them rose to accomplishments of the highest order. No fewer than seven — Johnson, Burke, Reynolds, Garrick, Gibbon, Adam Smi...

  • W.D. Clarke

    Really, really enjoyed Professor Damrosch's tour and company. As a now-budding 18C dilletante, I say that this is the perfect book to accompany any reading of Boswell's justly celebrated The Life of S...

  • Marks54

    This is a history of one of the original London clubs that developed as a place where the emerging bourgeois professional and literary class of London could gather for food, drink, fellowship, and tal...

  • Fern Adams

    The Club was a group of polymaths who met in an inn once a week in the second half of the 1700s. Made up of actors, artists, intellectuals and writers, many of the members were people who remain well ...

  • Peter Tillman

    While there is good stuff here, my interest flagged about halfway in. It's a long time ago, and TMI about characters I don't care much about. The book is due back, and I think I'm done.Joseph Epsein's...

  • Andy Klein

    As an avid Johnsonian, I was amused by the book but learned very little. As has been remarked by others, the title is misnamed. The book focused entirely on the relationship between Boswell and Johnso...

  • Alan

    Following Leo Damrosch's lead, I'm going to quote liberally from the subjects of The Club in this review—for, although his own prose is certainly lively and accessible, the real stars are the indivi...

  • Bruce Katz

    A hundred or so years ago, when I was in grad school, I took a course on seventeenth century literature, the so-called Age of Johnson. I found the reading onerous, but the professor, Paul Fussell, was...

  • Brian Willis

    This book is a vital survey of the intellectual and literary circle of luminaries who came to intersect their interests in an informal meeting called "the Club" at a local tavern called the Mitre. Ost...

  • Abigail Bok

    “The Club” was an informal gathering of the brilliant and the witty, founded by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Samuel Johnson in 1764. A select group of men would gather in a pub once a week for an eveni...