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

Leo Damrosch
In a discussion of his new book, Harvard University’s Leo Damrosch takes us inside the famous Friday night gatherings at London’s Turk’s Head Tavern, where artist Joshua Reynolds, biographer James Boswell, and a select group of other 18th-century intellectuals gathered to dine, drink, and discuss into the early hours.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
6:30 pm
Event Audio

In its day, there may have been no more stimulating place than London’s Turk’s Head Tavern on a Friday night. There in the mid- to late 18th century, artist Joshua Reynolds and writer Samuel Johnson gathered a select group of intellectual luminaries to dine, drink, and discuss into the early hours. Simply called The Club, it included the likes of political theorist Edmund Burke, economist Adam Smith, and biographer James Boswell.

Harvard scholar and award-winning biographer Leo Damrosch offers a ringside seat at the Turk’s Head, examining this extraordinary group and its lively, oft-combative weekly get-togethers in a discussion of his new book The Club. He draws from Boswell’s accounts of many of the conversations recorded in his journals.