Book review: Gentleman's Clubs of London

Monday, October 1, 2012
For years, a friend of mine has had an interesting book kicking around their house, and whenever I'm over there I take the opportunity to flick through it. It lists, completee with beautiful pictures and reasonably interesting (if not enormously insightful) prose, all the major London Clubs. Now, Anthony Lejeune's The Gentlemen's Clubs of Londonhas been reprinted, and I could buy a copy of my own.

There aren't too many changes from the old one - much of the text has remained exactly the same, although it's interesting to note how many clubs have come, gone or merged in the period since the book was first published. The amount of detail about each club varies depending, presumably, on how important Mr Lejeune thinks it is, or perhaps just on how much there is to say about it.

Most cover off the basics of where the members hail from along with a few entertaining bits of history, but it is probably the photographs that will be of most interest to readers, and this is certainly more of a coffee-table book than one to read from cover-to-cover. For those who don't get the opportunity to visit clubland much or ever, this will probably serve as a fascinating insight into a bizarre but rather beautiful world. For those that do, and may be a member of one or more of the clubs listed, it is perhaps just a handy reminder of good dinners had in the past, and invitations to wangle in the future.