‘Those Ungodly Pressmen’: The Early Years of the Brisbane Johnsonian Club


The Literary Club founded by Dr Samuel Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds in London in 1764 has been a model to successive Johnsonian clubs in many countries. The first such offshoot of the original was the Johnsonian Club in Brisbane which operated from 1878 until 1991 and defined itself by gender, profession, class, and a firm belief in ‘the elevating effects of cultural, and in particular literary, exchange’. Leanne Day’s article discusses ‘the ways in which the Literary Club influenced the Brisbane Johnsonian Club, taking into account the local club’s underlying purpose: to provide its members with a venue to enjoy culture with others of like mind, while implicitly paving their way for professional advancement through networking’. It also examines ‘the theme of manliness and writing within the context of this gentlemen’s club for journalists’ (92).

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Published 1 May 2003 in Volume 21 No. 1. Subjects: Journalists, Literary & cultural exchanges, Literary associations, Literary world, Social life, Socioeconomic status.

Cite as: Day, Leanne. ‘‘Those Ungodly Pressmen’: The Early Years of the Brisbane Johnsonian Club.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 21, no. 1, 2003, doi: 10.20314/als.bcd2510d52.