Land & Learning: Two Irish Clubs

By: R.B. McDowell


This is the tale of two Dublin gentlemen’s clubs, Kildare Street (founded in 1782) and University (founded in 1849), which united in 1975 to become the Kildare Street and University Club. Since their formation each has done much to nurture, and to contain, the social lives of Ireland’s upper and middle classes over the past two centuries.

These private institutions over the years have generated a fund of stories and traditions, some well-attested, others fabulous; this, combined with evidence of minutes and records, and legends attached to the characters of individual club members – La Touche, King-Harmon, Plunket, Luce; Lords Fitzgibbon, Morris, Rathmore and Rothschild – makes up a rich historical narrative yielding insights into the past pursuits of the Irish leisured, and often not-so-leisured, classes, their manners, mores, habits and social attitudes.

Land and Learning: Two Irish Clubs is a sprightly, entertaining read, as well as a serious work of documentation and institutional history by Ireland’s leading eighteenth-century historian and clubman.

R.B. MCDOWELL, born 1913, is a sometime Professor and Emeritus Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. He is author of several historical studies of note: Irish Public Opinion 1750-1800 (1944), British Conservatism 1832-1914 (1959), The Irish Convention 1917-1918 (1970), The Church of Ireland 1869-1969 (1975), Ireland in the Age of Imperialism and Revolution 1760-1801 (1979), and also biographies of Alice Stopford Green, A Passionate Historian (1967) and (with W.B. Stanford) Mahaffy, An Anglo-Irishman (1971). Now living in north-west London, he is at work on the correspondence of Edmund Burke.

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Weight 0.5 kg



225 x 145mm, 184pp