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

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

Prize-winning biographer Leo Damrosch tells the story of ?the Club,? a group of extraordinary writers, artists, and thinkers who gathered weekly at a London tavern 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. Ev Prize-winning biographer Leo Damrosch tells the story of ?the Club,? a group of extraordinary writers, arti...

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Title:The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age
Author:Leo Damrosch
Rating:
Genres:History
ISBN:0300217900
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:488 pages pages

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

  • Brian
    Jan 17, 2019
    In the second half of the eighteenth century a remarkable group of men met weekly in the Turk?s Head Tavern in London. Known simply as The Club, the group included Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Joshua Reynolds, Edmund Burke, Oliver Goldsmith, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Adam Smith an...
  • Daniel
    Jun 16, 2019
    If you are a Boswell&Johnson fan, this book is a must. It covers a good deal of material left out of the Life of Johnson, and it is a splendid introduction to many of the other extraordinary personalities on display in that place and time. To think that Johnson, Boswell, Adam Smith...
  • Trisha
    Aug 06, 2019
    I read because I know nothing about Johnson and Boswell. Not sure I understand their enduring appeal--or legacy?--but a fascinating read. So easy to read and the tangental discussions of the history of thought were so clear and concise. Lovely read ...
  • David
    Apr 08, 2019
    An entertaining book for difficult times. It hits the middle overlapping region of the Venn diagram where the two circles are labelled ?About an Interesting Group of Historical Figures? and ?Not Depressing?. If you have only a vague idea who Johnson, Boswell, David Garri...
  • Angie Boyter
    Mar 01, 2019
    An intellectual history of the late eighteenth century through the lives of some remarkable men Eighteenth-century England was a lively place! Captain Cook was exploring the South Seas. Playwrights like Richard Sheridan and Oliver Goldsmith were writing plays we still enjoy, and Dav...
  • Mauberley
    Aug 02, 2019
    Quite delightful. If only one could have been a fly on the wall of the Mitre Tavern for a few hours. Johnson here is more of the club man than the stern moralist and Boswell regularly wins our affection as well as our contempt. The other heavyweights (for they truly are), e.g., Smith, ...
  • foundfoundfound
    May 06, 2019
    reading, like kramer?s apartment makeover, is all about ?levels?. damrosch pitches ?the club? at an audience largely unfamiliar with the subj. but to anyone intimate with late augustan literature, or bozzer?s ?life of johnson?, this survey won?t add much. the author?...
  • Julia Simpson-Urrutia
    Jun 05, 2019
    When well-read people, intellectuals, and writers get together and talk, there is a domino effect. That is as much true of England as it was of the salons predating the revolution in France. While reading The Club, I wondered at times whether physical proximity is not a necessity and w...
  • Zeb Kantrowitz
    Jul 06, 2019
    More than just a biography of Johnson and Boswell it's also a story of their times and how each of them related to the other and the society they lived in. This was a very turbulent time as England was becoming "The Empire" in prelude to the great Victorian Era. After a short bio o...
  • Mandy
    May 04, 2019
    The Club was a dining and drinking society founded in 1763 which met every Friday at the Turk?s Head Tavern in London. Among its members were many of the greatest intellects of the time, from Samuel Johnson to Adam Smith, Joshua Reynolds to Edward Gibbon, Edmund Burke to David Garric...
  • Peter Tillman
    Mar 23, 2019
    Joseph Epsein's rave review: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-club... [paywalled. Ask if you would like a copy]. "What historical era produced the greatest aggregate of human intelligence? Fifth century B.C. Greece provided Socrates and Plato, Pericles and Phidias. In 18th-century F...
  • Mary Rose
    May 20, 2019
    In this chapter on Edward Gibbon, Damrosch writes: "Many historians, even today, have been tempted to write as if they had a total understanding of what happened long ago. But the best historians have always known that readers learn much more from being taken behind the scenes, ponderi...
  • Andy Klein
    Jun 18, 2019
    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 Johnson, touching on some of the early members of Johnson?s conversational club here and t...
  • Katherine Davis
    May 04, 2019
    When I recently finished a multi-year project of reading The Life of Johnson, I felt I had lost a dear friend, one I could visit any evening and be charmed and enlightened by. Seeking to revive the experience, I was pleased to see that a book about Johnson and his friends had been writ...
  • Graham
    May 28, 2019
    Amusing introduction to Boswell, Johnson and their friends. Not much here that you won't find in other books on the topic but this is as good an introduction as any and brings Boswell and Johnson alive. ...
  • Lynn
    Aug 17, 2019
    One of the gaps in my education is that I have never read Boswell's life of Samuel Johnson, and now I amn mot sure I need to. Damrosch gives a wonderful and detailed portrayal of Johnson, Boswell and all the members of their Club. I Icame away with a couple of observations. Fierst of a...
  • Stephen
    Jun 14, 2019
    Disclaimer: I find Boswell's sycophantic biography of Johnson a bore and Johnson to be an unlikeable jerk, while finding the Boswell pretty funny when not shoving his nose up Johnson's butt. Thus my personal opinion influences my review. Embarking on "The Club," my hope was for a b...
  • Fern Adams
    Feb 16, 2019
    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 known to this day; Johnson, Boswell, Joshua Reynolds, Oliver Goldsmith, Edmund Burke a...
  • Brian Willis
    Apr 03, 2019
    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. Ostensibly, it also spotlights many of the socio-cultural personas of the late 18th centu...
  • Jeff Keehr
    Apr 23, 2019
    This is largely a rehash of Boswell's The Life of Johnson with additional biographical details on each of the major members of the Literary Club that Johnson helped to found. It contains some interesting theories on the real nature of Johnson's relationship with Hester Thrale. It inclu...
  • Chris
    Jun 15, 2019
    "The Club", organized in London in 1763, was like the 1920s Algonquin round table, a group of celebrities from all walks of life who got together once a week to talk about their works, the times, and each other. Since meetings were held in the Turks Head Tavern there was always drinkin...
  • JQAdams
    May 14, 2019
    The subtitle is a better guide than the title or marketing materials here: while the book presents itself as a group biography of a weekly club of eminent late-1700s London personages, Damrosch mostly cares about Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, so you mostly get a double biography of...
  • GRosen
    Aug 04, 2019
    This book is about the famous Club, but really centers on Johnson and Boswell. Too much Boswell in this book-he's not that interesting. I read it because I read everything about Johnson, and I wish there was more about the other members. ...
  • Lisa-Michele
    Jun 22, 2019
    A sweeping picture of 18th century London intellectual life, centered on Dr. Samuel Johnson, his sycophant James Boswell, and the constellation of talent that surrounded them in a weekly club meeting. I've wanted to delve deeper into Dr. Johnson's career since I visited his home/museum...
  • Mike Glaser
    Jun 17, 2019
    A very entertaining book. For those of us who are not as familiar with Johnson and Boswell as we should be, it is a fine introduction. You would be hard pressed to find a group of notables such as made up the Club in its early years. ...
  • William Dury
    May 28, 2019
    I read Boswell many years ago. ?The Life? is a truly great book, one of those foundation of civilization things. ?The Club? gives insight into the other members of The Club, most prominently Reynolds, Burke, Gibbon and Smith. Not to be suspicious but they all conform neatly to ...
  • Alvaro de Menard
    Feb 05, 2019
    There's not much to say about the titular Club, certainly not enough to fill 400 pages. Damrosch's strategy is to write about the lives of its members, and the general milieu they lived in. So, rather than a history of the club this book is mostly a series of independent biographies. ...
  • Caroline Breashears
    Jul 05, 2019
    I am currently reading this book, which has a fantastic focus: the famous London club featuring Samuel Johnson, David Garrick, James Boswell, Edmund Burke, Topham Beauclerck, Adam Smith, and other luminaries. Damrosch is really nailing it with Johnson and Boswell, though he has an unfo...
  • Marks54
    Apr 29, 2019
    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 talking - lots of talking. The club members were self-selected and it was hard to join. M...
  • Mshelton50
    May 15, 2019
    Leo Damrosch has done a wonderful job capturing Doctor Johnson and James Boswell. In addition to familiarizing the reader with other Club members Sir Joshua Reynolds, Edmund Burke, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Adam Smith, and Edward Gibbon, the book also conveys a nice sense of what late...