The Early Years of the Saturday Club, 1855-1870

By Edward Waldo Emerson | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTORY

TWELVE years ago the Saturday Club sent to me, absent, its mandate to do it a service, honourable but difficult. Mr. Norton, our President at that time, last survivor, revered and loved, of the fellowship of the earlier years, wrote: "The Club is about fifty years old, and it occurred to me that it would be well if a history of it were written before its story became faint, and before more legends of dubious validity gathered around it. . . . I spoke of this, a day or two since, to President Eliot, and found that he was quite of my mind. When he asked me who could do the work, I told him that I hoped you might be willing to undertake it, and this suggestion he received. . . . I hope you will entertain it readily, and even that it may allure you. The subject seems to have many attractions, for it admits of studies of the character of many of the most remarkable men in our community during the last half-century."

I wrote at once to Mr. Norton that I was much honoured by being deemed fit by the Club for so interesting a work, but saying that I could not feel that I was so, not having been chosen a member until it had existed a third of a century when most of the first glorious company of friends were gone, and urged that he, who knew them so well, would write his memories. He answered that he was too old to do so, but would gladly receive me at his home and help me with his recollections. So it seemed that I must do, as best I might, the will of the Club. I had to ask its patience, being already pledged to a task only lately brought to an end. I gladly availed myself of the invitation of this hereditary friend, and in his delightful study passed three or four mornings asking questions and taking notes of his memories, but I had no right to weary him. It is sad to think how much more I might have learned that no one now can tell, and soon he was taken away. Others, too, have gone, or their memories become dim. But still I have had the privilege of hearing from persons of an older generation -- some of them ladies -- reminiscences of our great

-xi-

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The Early Years of the Saturday Club, 1855-1870
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Introductory xi
  • Chapter I - The Attraction 1
  • Chapter II - 1855-1856 The Saturday Club is Born Also the Magazine or Atlantic Club 11
  • Chapter III - 1856 21
  • Chapter IV - 1857 128
  • Chapter V - 1858 166
  • Chapter VI - 1859 197
  • Chapter VII - 1860 234
  • Chapter VIII - 1861 249
  • Chapter IX - 1862 287
  • Chapter X - 1863 309
  • Chapter XI - 1864 334
  • Chapter XII - 1865 392
  • Chapter XIII - 1866 407
  • Chapter XIV - 1867 428
  • Chapter XV - 1868 447
  • Chapter XVI - 1869 456
  • Chapter XVII - 1870 474
  • Index 503
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