Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review: London Clubland by Amy Milne-Smith

London Clubland by Amy Milne-Smith
London Clubland: A Cultural History of Gender and Class in Late Victorian Britain by Amy Milne-Smith
A book about the gentlemen's clubs of the late 19th century with a focus on gender and class. It gives a brief history of how the clubs formed from the coffee houses of the 17th century. The book discusses who could become a member of the clubs, how members were chosen and explains how the blackball system worked. It goes on to describe the rules of the clubs, what kind of behavior was and wasn't acceptable and what could get someone kicked out of a club. The author writes about how the club could be like a second home for members. The architecture of the clubs is described as well as the services they offered and the servants who worked there. It describes contemporary attitudes to clubs and perceptions of the effect they had on marriage and the family. This books gives a good idea of the importance of clubs in Victorian society and Victorian gentlemen's lives.

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