Founded by the novelist and critic Walter Besant in 1891 as a place where writers could meet and talk, the Authors’ Club also welcomes publishers, editors, agents, journalists, academics and anyone professionally involved with literature.
Early members included Oscar Wilde, George Meredith, Thomas Hardy, Arthur Conan Doyle, JM Barrie, Jerome K Jerome, Ford Madox Ford, HG Wells, Compton Mackenzie, Thornton Wilder and Graham Greene, while guest speakers included Emile Zola, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchill, Bram Stoker, TS Eliot and Clement Attlee.
Club members also meet for monthly lunches, addressed by distinguished speakers from the world of books. Recent guests include Lisa Appignanesi, Susie Boyt, Amanda Craig, Sophie Hannah, Tristram Hunt, Robert Macfarlane, Cole Moreton, Blake Morrison, Monique Roffey, Miranda Seymour, Francis Spufford, Martin Rowson, DJ Taylor and June Whitfield.
Since March 2011, the Authors’ Club has been based at Blacks, 67 Dean Street, London W1 (pictured right). This privately owned club in the heart of Soho offers a relaxed and cultured ambience in a beautiful Grade II* Georgian house, with an atmospheric warren of wood-panelled rooms, lit by candles and warmed by open fires. The Club takes pride in the quality and value of its food and wines, importing from small organic producers in Italy and France, and a third of the menu changes each week.
With strong literary connections of its own, Blacks provides a friendly base in central London where writers can relax and meet like-minded people, and we have an exciting programme of events planned. The partnership will enable us to prosper and flourish as an invigorating literary society at the very centre of the cultural life of the nation.
For information about membership, please contact the Authors’ Club Chairman, Chris Schüler, on firstname.lastname@example.org