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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Chief guest

Friday, December 28th., Cadogan Square, London.

Dinner given by V. C. at the Farmers' Club. A sort of official world. Lionel Earle, an Irish judge, a fellow named Blair at American Embassy (who had carefully lost all his American accent, and who remembers a description of mine of the 20th Century Ltd. train in "Your United States"), a new M.P. (Name forgotten), etc. Admirable meal. Oysters Mornay to start with. Roederer 1906; a fine brandy. Most of them drank more than was quite necessary to sustain life. I was the chief guest. On my right, S. L., who praised much Lady C. said she had not got a shallow mind. usual sign of being in love. Said she had had eleven children, many dead. I said her husband ought to be ashamed, and asked if he was a Catholic? "Oh, no. Quite the reverse. He was very angry with me because I took her to a midnight mass ... I said he might call me out if he liked." Evidently serious then.

The Farmers' Club was founded in 1842 by the agricultural writer William Shaw, who invited the founder members from the newly formed Royal Agricultural Society of England, and the Smithfield Club. Shaw's letter set out that the club would be "a gathering place for farmers which could also serve as a platform, from which would go out to England news of all that was good in farming, with reports of any discussions about those things that needed to be done." The club frequently moved premises in its first 60 years. Its inaugural meeting on 9 December 1842 was held in a pub, the Hereford Arms, in King Street, Covent Garden. After several moves, the club settled on some rooms at 2 Whitehall Court, which it occupied between 1904 and 1942.

Additionally for December 28th., see 'An Architectural experience' -

Yesterday morning I went over the Wesleyan Westminster building with Rickards. He is now gradually getting hold of me again as a great artist.

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