David Stuart Davies looks at the history of the ever-popular priest with a flair for detection. ...
"To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. "
Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born on 29th May 1874 in Campden Hill, Kensington, London.
He was educated at St Paul’s school and then went on to attend Slade School of Art to enable him to become an illustrator. However he lost interest in art and never completed his degree. Instead, he began writing articles for newpapers and journals, including The Daily News and Illustrated London News. In 1901 he married Frances Blogg, to whom he remained married for the rest of his life.
Chesterton wrote around 80 books, several hundred poems, some 200 short stories, 4000 essays, and several plays. He was a literary and social critic, historian, playwright, novelist, Catholic theologian and apologist, debater, and mystery writer. He was a convinced Christian, long before he was received into the Catholic Church, and Christian themes and symbolism appear in much of his writing.
His first two books were collections of poetry, The Wild Knight and Greybeards which were published in 1900. He then published The Innocence of Father Brown in 1911 which is one of his most popular books. Father Brown became the main character in 52 stories, which were later compiled into five books. Father Brown was the perfect vehicle for conveying Chesterton's view of the world. Father Brown solves his crimes through a strict reasoning process more concerned with spiritual and philosophic truths rather than scientific details.
Chesterton died on the 14th June 1936, at his home in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire and was buried in Beaconsfield in the Catholic Cemetery.
The Complete Father Brown Stories and The Selected Works of G.K. Chesterton are among his published works.
TITLES BY G.K. CHESTERTON