Esto Perpetua: The Club of Dr. Johnson and His Friends, 1764-1784

Esto Perpetua: The Club of Dr. Johnson and His Friends, 1764-1784

Esto Perpetua: The Club of Dr. Johnson and His Friends, 1764-1784

Esto Perpetua: The Club of Dr. Johnson and His Friends, 1764-1784

Excerpt

The 250th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Johnson in 1959 occasioned a number of addresses, exhibitions, and publications.

Among these were two talks at the Grolier Club in New York, related to an exhibition of books and manuscripts of members of that circle founded in 1764 which is sometimes called The Literary Club or Johnson's Club, but more accurately The Club.

The members of The Club were intellectually pre-eminent in their own age, and formed an aristocracy of the mind that has perhaps never been equalled in the annals of man binding himself to his peers in a single sodality.

In one of these talks about The Club, both here first published, Mr. Curtis, Associate Professor of History at Yale University, incisively examines the nature of the intellectual aristocracy in the age of Johnson. In the other, Mr. Liebert, Librarian of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale, describes the texture of The Club and its members.

The title repeats the motto of The Club: Esto Perpetua, May it last forever.

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