According to the 1881 printed list of rules for this group, the group’s object was the study of Shakespeare’s works. The meetings were to alternate between the reading of a play and criticism (i.e. discussion). The meetings in which criticism was to feature would begin with a paper on the play that was previously read.
The entry free upon joining was 2s 6d, and 5s for the year, which made this an expensive club to join. Members would most likely have been from the middle class. Membership was restricted to 20 (later changed to 30), but there were usually less than a dozen attendant at each meeting. Books were bought by the club upon the approval of the majority of the members.
This club was unusual in that it initially had two sessions during the year (the norm was one): meetings were held at 8pm on the first Monday of the month between April and September, and on the first and third Mondays between October and March. Later, the rules were revised, reducing the meetings to one session, with meetings being held only between the months of October and May on the second and fourth Mondays at 8pm.
Date of Existence
10 April 1879-November 1882?
Source of Information
Monday Shakspere Club, Minute Book, 1879-82 (includes printed ‘Rules’, various years, and printed ‘Monthly Abstract of Proceedings’, 9 June 1882)
Mitchell Library Special Collections
Baillie’s Library, 35495
This club should not be confused with the Glasgow Shakspere Club (1838-1850?).