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 and Adam Smith amongst others I was expecting this book to be about the meetings themselves and what they entailed and discussed during these however rather it was a book of biographies of the members Damrosch takes each club member and provides information on their lives, work and idiosyncrasies as well as giving the reader information on the social, cultural and political history of the time The book uses a range of sources including The Club members journals, work, letters, quot I was sorry this book ended, along with the rich lives that are explored With much lively human detail, The Club members times, friends, personalities, features and foibles are convincingly presented, so that you feel you know them There is no perfection in these widely different men and women friends, too , but then greatness is not perfection If one has read The Life of Samuel Johnson, this book completes the canvas, or one could read this and still learn much about Johnson and all his esteemed friends.
Alongside his previous 2 books, a biography of Jonathan Swift and an artistic biography of William Blake, Leo Damrosch is on a roll This is a book that certainly fills a niche, enlarging and expanding the spotlight that usually falls on only one of these leading lights of the age The book does focus heavily on Johnson and Boswell, but without marginalizing the other subjects One reviewer complained that Adam Smith only receives 8 pages but it is n 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 and Edward Gibbon This book traces the fortunes of those men as well as some of the talented women who were their friends and supporters like the writers Fanny Burney, Hannah Moore, and Charlotte Lennox, and the woman on whom Johnson came to depend than anyone else, Hester Thrale.
Leo Damrosch is the Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature Emeritus at Harvard University but this is not a book for a closeted academic readership With an eye for the telling detail and the emblematic anecdote, Damrosch brings the world of eighteenth centur 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 , 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 Download Epub Format º The Club PDF by Ü Leo Damrosch 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
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 type Burke a bit slick, Reynolds smarmy and charming, Smith dull and Gibbon the impossibly good writer endearingly besotted by his work Boswell is presented as such a dim witted drunken rake that one wonders how he wrote such a good book, and Johnson is curiously charmless Still, a marvelous history with much insight and information.
Joseph Epsein s rave review 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 France there were the philosophes, among them D Alembert, Diderot, Voltaire, Helv tius The founding generation of the republic Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and Adams would be America s entry My own choice would be for middle and late 18th century London, where Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, Edward Gibbon, Joshua Reynolds, Oliver Goldsmith, James Boswell, David Garrick, Charles James Fox, Adam Smith, David Hume and Richard Brinsley Sheridan walked the streets These men knew one another well and, with the Ø The Club Ò 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 s moralising glosses are tiresome the editing is injudicious.
An intellectual history of the late eighteenth century through the lives of some remarkable menEighteenth 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 David Garrick was acting in them Adam Smith was inventing modern economics And so on Despite the breadth of the innovation, exploration, and accomplishments in that era, though, the cast of characters who played major roles all seemed to know one another The Club focuses on one small remarkable group of men who gathered for camaraderie and stimulating conversation and uses their lives to open the door onto the big picture of the intellectual life of the period It is amazing how such a small group could have so much influence in their own time and later These are practically all names we remembe 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 unfortunate tendency to prefer raunchy anecdotes His chapter on Garrick is also solid.
His account of Adam Smith, however, is superficial and biased He relies, for instance, on Duncan Foley of Adam s Fallacy rather than doing the hard work of really trying to understand Smith s Wealth of Nations Worse, Damrosch summarily dismisses Smith s The Theory of Moral Sentiments as very dry and abstract Surely his distinguished professor could do better