Heretics Paperback – 11 Oct 2008
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About the Author
GK Chesterton was born in London in 1874 and educated at St Paul's School, before studying art at the Slade School. In 1896, he began working for the London publisher, Redway, and also T. Fisher Unwin as a reader where he remained until 1902. During this time he undertook his first freelance journalistic assignments writing art and literary reviews. He also contributed regular columns to two newspapers: the Speaker (along with his friend Hilaire Belloc) and the Daily News. Throughout his life he contibuted further articles to journals, particularly The Bookman and The Illustrated London News. His first two books were published; two poetry collections, in 1900. These were followed by collections of essays and in 1903 by his most substantial work to that point; a study of Robert Browning. Chesterton's first novel, 'The Napoleon of Notting Hill' was published in 1904. In this book he developed his political attitudes in which he attacked socialism, big business and technology and showed how they become the enemies of freedom and justice. These were themes which were to run throughout his other works. 'The Man who was Thursday' was published in 1908 and is perhaps the novel most difficult to understand, although it is also his most popular. 'The Ball and the Cross' followed in 1910 and 'Manalive' in 1912. Chesterton's best-known fictional character appears in the Father Brown stories, the first of the collection, 'The Innocence of Father Brown', being published in 1911. Brown is a modest Catholic priest who uses careful psychology to put himself in the place of the criminal in order to solve the crime. His output was prolific, with a great variety of books from brilliant studies of Dickens, Shaw, and RL Stevenson to literary criticism. He also produced more poetry and many volumes of political, social and religious essays. Tremendous zest and energy, with a mastery of paradox, puns, a robust humour and forthright devotion along with great intelligence characterise his entire output. In the years prior to 1914 his fame was at its height, being something of a celebrity and seen as a latter day Dr Johnson as he frequented the pubs and offices of Fleet Street. His huge figure was encased in a cloak and wide brimmed hat, with pockets full of papers and proofs. Chesterton came from a nominlly Anglican family and had been baptized into the Church of England. However, he had no particular Christian belief and was in fact agnostic for a time. Nevertheless, in his late
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Top Customer Reviews
Of course, it would be true to say that the shadows cast by Chesterton's thoughts on these topics, put together, do make up a picture of his Christianity - a picture in negative.
For my part, in spite of the many clever and interesting ideas, a little of his prose style goes a long way. Though too facetious to be called sententious, there is no real lightness of touch. His is the deadly `humour' of the bachelor uncle trying to win over his nephews; not insincere, perhaps, but misapplied because he is unsure of his audience. His work is so larded with epigrams and paradoxes - like a rabbit in the headlights you feel them coming on, one after another - that it was described by TS Eliot as `exasperating to the last point of endurance'. Strangely, considering he claims to be extolling orthodoxy, Chesterton seems determined to find the unlikeliest-sounding opinion on every topic - in the same sort of way as the murderer in an Agatha Christie is always whichever character you would never (otherwise) have thought of.
Actually, though, he is not really extolling orthodoxy; not in the sense we usually understand it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is a great work by a great intellect and faithful Christian, sadly ruined by poor quality printing and errors. This is a shoddy piece of work and the great G.K. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Thirsty Fish
Perfectly adequate but not great. It has been presented with American spelling! It would have been written in English. Grrr!Published on 23 Aug. 2013 by John Moore