The Garrick Club was founded in 1831 – a place where ‘actors and men of refinement and education might meet on equal terms’. Women were not allowed to be members and, almost 200 years on, that is still the case. Emily Bendell on why she is taking legal action against the Garrick and Amy Milne-Smith on the history of London’s clubland
Last year, businesswoman Emily Bendell was looking for a private members’ club where she could meet people after work and was surprised to discover that a number of clubs in central London still exclude women. She tells Mythili Rao why she has launched legal action against one of London’s last remaining gentlemen’s clubs, the Garrick, arguing that its men-only membership rules are a breach of equality legislation.
Mythili also talks to historian Amy Milne-Smith, author of London Clubland: A Cultural History of Gender and Class in late-Victorian Britain, about how these clubs first came into existence. She looks at the type of men who wanted to be members and why there has been a resurgence in popularity of these clubs. Is it escapism and nostalgia that is driving this?
Audio | The Guardian
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