Blades is despicably – and unaccountably, unless it’s through an understandable boycott by women – still men only. The fifty per cent of the human race whom they probably refer to as ‘the fairer sex’ are permitted to leave telephone messages for members with the concierge. I gave my name, saying I was a friend of Sir William Tanner’s, and asked Hunter to phone me on my mobile number. Two days later, I received a call from a woman who described herself as his personal secretary, and who said Colonel Hunter would be delighted to receive me for tea at the club the following day, though she regretted that I would have to use the side entrance as women were not allowed through the front door. I tried to keep the distaste out of my voice as I accepted.
It is rather good fun to read a somewhat de-constructing perspective of the places and institutions that made up the world of the original novels.
Colonel Hunter needs to be shoved under a bus, too, btw.