London Clubland: A Cultural History of Gender and Class in by A. Milne-Smith

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By A. Milne-Smith

During this first educational background of the famed gentlemen’s golf equipment of London, Amy Milne-Smith finds those associations on the top in their energy and effect on the flip of the 20th century, paying targeted awareness to how clubmen outlined masculinity and standing for his or her iteration. in response to large learn in membership documents besides newspapers, journals, diaries and memoirs, Milne-Smith takes us at the back of the majestic doorways of those so much unique golf equipment. Readers will locate London Clubland not just an interesting account of golf equipment, but additionally a narrative of bothered marriage, contested city house, transferring barriers of sophistication, and a strong masculine tradition in decline.

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White’s, Brooks’s, and Boodle’s, among others, began the nineteenth century essentially as regulated upper-class gaming houses. These centers proved incredibly popular in the Regency Era when aristocrats were expected to live life to excess. By the 1770s, Brooks’s Club became legendary for its high-stakes gambling, and White’s was somewhat eclipsed. The sums won and lost seem almost incomprehensible today. Henry Frederick Thynne, a notorious gambler elected in 1764, retired from Brooks’s in 1772 upset that he had won only 12,000 guineas in the previous two months.

It is true political questions and rivalries inf luenced clublife; yet there was a code of conduct and limitations to the inf luence of political leaders. When Joseph Chamberlain tried to use his political inf luence and Cabinet position to inf luence the Reform Club to accept members they had already rejected, he failed completely. An author for Vanity Fair revelled in Chamberlain’s discomfiture, writing: If he had had sufficient knowledge of Club life in general, and of the Reform Club in particular, he would have known that to the great majority of members of any Club, even though it be identified with a political Party, politics are caviare.

15 Families instilled certain values in their children, and sent them to schools that cultivated certain activities and tastes; this development of cultural refinement then functioned as a marker of class in adulthood. 16 The upper classes passed on not only their wealth, but their culture and history as a means to justify and enhance that wealth. ”17 The English elites lived in just such a world where an unconscious adherence to cultural values and a belief in intrinsic superiority led to a feeling of solidarity.

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