Private clubs received the most rapid development several centuries ago, in the Victorian era. Then their number began to exceed several thousand. And what is surprising – forty clubs from the same list operate to this day. It was then that in many London coffee houses and taverns, the first “gentlemen’s” clubs arose. Owners tried very hard to decorate these establishments. And it was done on the principle of “cooler than the neighbor” in order to provide incredible 1) comfort 2) comfort 3) status. Many clubs even had a dining room, a decent bar, and less often a reading room. Most clubs must have gambling halls.
What is the reason that the club system has become such a huge success? In addition to the privilege of playing a variety of gambling, membership in the club implied communication with a selected circle of people, it was almost impossible to get to know them outside the club. Indeed, the etiquette of the middle class of that time, and even more so of the aristocracy, was undoubtedly much more strict. Membership in the club greatly simplified the dating process.
Many Victorian men tied the knot very late. And the club was a successful platform where you could talk with the young ladies of your circle, enjoy new experiences and have fun. In those days, it was not shameful in his environment to emphasize his wealth, and many gentlemen acquired membership at the same time in 5 or more clubs.
The club society provided an opportunity to discuss the news with links to eyewitnesses, to have primary information, which was an undeniable motivation for joining. At the same time, the status that confirmed membership was the most important. After all, the image of a gentleman was based on eternal values and reputation, as well as on the behavior of a leader inherent in only a select few, most of whom are endowed with gifts of generosity.
By the end of the nineteenth century, a variety of clubs appeared and developed – artistic, theatrical, gender, professional, literary, political, sports. At the beginning of the twentieth century, a fundamental division of clubs into two fundamentally different types was laid down in terms of ownership: clubs owned directly by their members and clubs owned by outside investors.
The attractiveness and relevance in the days of today’s club system is often explained by the fact that for discerning, time-consuming people, a properly organized club has the unique charm of the very Great Britain, whose capital is still the financial capital of the planet. Equally important is the fact that sometimes only a club system is capable of uniting people with the same life aspirations and a close worldview.