The NOVEL CLUB is a small and intimate group that serves as a forum for the discussion of both classic and contemporary works of fiction. The club was founded on 5 Dec. 1896 by Elizabeth Cutter (later Mrs. Dwight Morrow) and Wm. Torrance as the Classical Novel Reading Union, although the original emphasis on classics in literature lasted only a few months. With the general purpose of providing Cleveland with an intellectually based literary club, its specific purpose was "to choose only novels of established excellence, and to consider them with something of the serious purposes of the student." Throughout the club's existence, its membership has consisted of both men and women from diverse backgrounds. In the post-WORLD WAR II period, the club drew the majority of its members from CLEVELAND HTS. and SHAKER HTS., limiting the number of members to 36 so that each could present a paper at least once every 2 years. Elizabeth Cutter was active in the club's leadership for over 40 years. The club's activities have remained essentially unchanged since its founding. Nine novels are selected for discussion each year by vote from a list of proposals presented by the Program Committee. The club meets the first Tuesday of each month except during the summer. Meetings take place in a different member's home each month; special meetings have, in recent decades, been held at the UNION CLUB.
Novel Club Records, WRHS.