The Athenaeum is a club in central London frequented by Charles Dickens where he socialised with fellow famous and noted gentlemen. It was also where Dickens reconciled his differences with his old friend William Makepeace Thackeray shortly before his death.
The Athenaeum was originally a gentlemen’s club in London, founded in 1824. It has had many well known persons as members. Today admission is also open to lady members. The distinctive clubhouse (located at 107 Pall Mall at the corner of Waterloo Place) was designed by Decimus Burton in the Neoclassical style with a Doric portico, above which is a statue of the classical goddess of wisdom, Athene. The bas-relief frieze is a copy of the frieze round the Parthenon in Athens. The club’s facilities include the extensive library, a dining room known as the Coffee Room, a Morning Room, a Drawing Room on the first floor, a newly restored Smoking Room, where smoking is not permitted, and a suite of bedrooms.
Charles Dickens and The Athenaeum.
In June 1838, Charles Dickens was elected a member of the Athenaeum, and joined fellow members that included leading writers, artists, scholars and statesmen of the day. He had been proposed for membership by Thomas Talfourd, the barrister, playwright and Member of Parliament, who had become friends with Dickens the previous year.
Dickens and Thackeray.
Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray did not speak for three years following the Garrick Club Affair. They finally meet and reconciled their differences after meeting one day at the Athenaeum. However shortly after, Thackeray died.