Rethinking Chesterton

Rethinking Chesterton 1

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G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) has been known mostly for his Father Brown mystery stories and his Christian beliefs. A new biography and a collection of his work make the case for him as a major critic, biographer, and deep thinker of sharp wit.

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Hulton Archive, Getty Images

G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) has been known mostly for his Father Brown mystery stories and his Christian beliefs. A new biography and a collection of his work make the case for him as a major critic, biographer, and deep thinker of sharp wit.

It has been over half a century since Maisie Ward's major biography of G.K Chesterton (1874-1936) appeared in 1943. Since then, Chesterton has largely been a darling of Anglophiles, conservatives, and orthodox Roman Catholics, the sort of writer often invoked in the pages of the National Review. And oh, yes, read by mystery-story lovers everywhere for his Father Brown series.

More recently, however, he has begun to find a sympathetic audience in wider literary circles, as