The Kit-Cat Club Criticism: Major Figures - Essay

G. F. Papali (essay date 1933)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Papali, G. F. “The Kit-Cat Club.” In Jacob Tonson, Publisher: His Life and Work (1656-1736), pp. 86-109. Onehunga, Aukland: Tonson Publishing House, 1968.

[In the following excerpt from a work written in 1933, Papali examines the central role of Jacob Tonson in the Kit-Cat Club.]

Even if Jacob Tonson did not achieve anything great as a publisher, his claim to posterity's remembrane was established when he became the Secretary of the Kit-Cat Club, a distinguished assembly of some of the leading literary and social figures of the early eighteenth century. Such an honour in the company of eminent Whigs necessarily exposed Tonson, for a whole generation, to the...

(The entire section is 9577 words.)

John C. Hodges (essay date 1941)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Hodges, John C. “Among the Kit-Kats.” In William Congreve, the Man: A Biography from New Sources, pp. 93-108. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1941.

[In the following excerpt, Hodges discusses the importance of the Kit-Cat Club to William Congreve, noting that many of the playwright's close relationships with other members endured throughout his life.]


When Congreve was not at home in the Strand, he was frequently to be found at the country seat of a fellow Kit-Cat.

“The Kit-cat Club, generally mentioned as a set of wits, [were] in reality the patriots that saved Britain.”1 When...

(The entire section is 6317 words.)