G. K. Chesterton 1874–1936

  • Neil McEwan
Part of the Macmillan Anthologies of English Literature book series (AEL)


Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London and educated there at St Paul’s School. Like his friend and fellow campaigner Hilaire Belloc (1870—1953), he was a prolific journalist, a novelist, a writer on many topics, a gifted versifier and, from 1922, a Roman Catholic and a polemicist for his religion. In his journalism and in his fantasy novels The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904) and The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare (1908), he celebrated traditional Englishness and denigrated capitalism and bureaucracy. His ‘Father Brown’ detective stories which began with The Innocence of Father Brown (1911) are classics. Chesterton loved paradox, and his writing conveys the exuberant pleasure he found in the incongruities of life. He was a brilliant parodist.


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© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1989

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  • Neil McEwan

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