The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age is expected to be released on March 26, 2019.
According to its description, the book tells the story of “the Club,” an extraordinary group of writers, artists, and thinkers in London, with the “odd couple” Samuel Johnson and James Boswell at its center.
The book has received rave reviews even before its publication. In the words of award-winning author Richard Holmes:
Damrosch’s glorious study takes us on a brilliantly animated Grand Tour of the whole Johnsonian universe, with its ever-expanding galaxy of stellar personalities. He revisits not only the old glittering Club Land familiars like James Boswell, David Garrick, Edmund Burke, and Sir Joshua Reynolds, but also intriguing lesser known luminaries such as Johnson’s early portrait painter Frances Reynolds (younger sister of Sir Joshua), his secret confidante and confessor Hester Thrale, his black servant Francis Barber, his pornographic friend John Wilkes, and his “infidel” opponent David Hume. Shrewd, good-natured, and endlessly informative, Damrosch makes a spell-binding guide. He narrates with a compelling mixture of provoking gossip, shrewd commentary and masterly scholarship. He is so intimate and engaging, that I could well believe he once drank punch and compared notes with Boswell at the Mitre Tavern