The Perpetual Club

Such were the deep currents of literary life in 18th-century England that a group of friends meeting weekly in a London tavern included men as monumental as Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and Edward Gibbon. Even those members who are lesser known today—Joshua Reynolds, Oliver Goldsmith, David Garrick, Richard Brinsley Sheridan—were enormously famous in their time. Leo Damrosch, author of superb biographies of Jonathan Swift, William Blake, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, dives deep to show what happened when the paths of these major figures crossed.

Timothy D. Lusch

Timothy D. Lusch is an attorney and writer.

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