Chapter 7


Mr. Thackeray, Mr. Yates, and the Garrick Club. London: Printed for private circulation, 1858. *EC85.T3255.Y859m (A)

Mr. Thackeray, Mr. Yates, and the Garrick Club (London: Printed for private circulation, 1859).

Throughout his life, Thackeray was a popular club man. He had belonged to several of the most famous and popular gentleman’s clubs, including the Reform Club, the Athenaeum Club, and the Garrick Club. In 1859, 27-year-old Edmund Yates, a fellow Garrick Club member and a young protégé of Dickens, published harsh criticisms of Thackeray and his work: “No one meeting him could fail to recognize he is a gentleman; his bearing is cold and uninviting, his style of conversation either openly cynical, or affectedly good-natured and benevolent; his bonhomie is forced, his wit biting.” Thackeray responded, “Had your remarks been written by a person unknown to me, I should have noticed them no more than other calumnies: but, as we have shaken hands more than once, and met hitherto on friendly terms…I am obliged to take notice of articles w[hich] I consider to be not offensive and unfriendly merely, but slanderous and untrue.”

When asked by the older members of the Club to apologize to Thackeray, Yates refused, and Yates was asked to leave the Club. The argument incited a large schism among the club members. In 1859, Yates published this pamphlet, which included the text of letters he and Thackeray exchanged.
*EC85.T3255.Y859m (A). Gift of Herbert L. Carlebach, 1958.
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