The Early Years of the Saturday Club, 1855-1870

By Edward Waldo Emerson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
1855-1856 THE SATURDAY CLUB IS BORN ALSO THE MAGAZINE OR ATLANTIC CLUB

The flighty purpose never is o'ertook Unless the deed go with it.

SHAKSPEARE

THOUGH the haze of remoteness and of failing memories had, even before the end of the last century, begun to obscure the origin of the Saturday Club, and also because of a misapprehension by outsiders very natural because of its personnel, it is still possible to discover through the dimness two threads between which this group of remarkable men oscillated for a time as a centre of crystallization. One was friendship and good-fellowship pure and simple. The other was literary, and involved responsibilities, namely, a new magazine. In each, as moving spirit, there was an active, well-bred, sociable man, eager for this notable companionship and with executive skill ready to manage the details of the festive meetings.

Two clubs actually resulted, and nearly at the same time. Of this, conclusive documentary evidence exists, some of which will be here given and some referred to. The membership of these clubs was, at first, largely identical. The merely friendly group soon became elective; somewhat later took the name the Saturday Club, increased much in size, in time was incorporated, and still flourishes, a pleasant, utterly informal company of men more or less eminent, dining, or rather having a long lunch, together on the last Saturday of each month, except July, August, and September. The other club, designed to interest the best authors in launching a really good magazine, might have been at first properly called the Magazine Club, but not until 1857 did it give birth, as will be told in detail, to the Atlantic Monthly, and, after that, the frequent

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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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