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Stories, Poems and Humor
Left Book Author Profile
Chesterton, Gilbert Keith
Left Book
Website: http://www.chesterton.org

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Chesterton, Gilbert Keith

Christmas and the Aesthetes [Stories]
Christmas and the First Games [Stories]
Christmas Carol, A [Poetry]
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Biography

Chesterton


Gilbert Keith Chesterton (May 29, 1874 - June 14, 1936), English writer.


G.K. Chesterton, portraitBorn in Campden Hill, Kensington, London, Chesterton was educated at St. Paul's, and later went to Art School to become an illustrator. In 1900, Chesterton was asked to write a few magazine articles on art criticism, which sparked his interest in writing. He went on to become one of the most prolific writers of all time. Chesterton's writings displayed a wit and sense of humor that is unusual even today, while often time making extremely serious comments on the world, government, politics, economics, philosophy, theology, or a hundred other topics.


Chesterton wrote around 80 books, several hundred poems, 200 short stories, 4000 essays and a few plays. He was a columnist for the Daily News, Illustrated London News and his own paper, G.K's Weekly. In the United States, his writings on distributism were popularized through The American Review, published by Seward Collins in New York. He was a literary and social critic, historian, playwright, novelist, Catholic Christian theologian, debater and mystery writer. His most well-known character is the priest-detective Father Brown, although The Man Who Was Thursday, arguably his most well-known novel, does not concern Father Brown at all. He converted to Catholicism in 1922.


Chesterton was a large man, standing 6 feet 4 inches and weighing in at around 300 pounds. Chesterton had a unique look, usually wearing a cape and a crumpled hat, with a swordstick in hand, and usually a cigar hanging out of his mouth. Chesterton rarely remembered where he was supposed to be going and would even miss the train that was supposed to take him there. It was not uncommon for Chesterton to send a telegram to his wife, Frances Blogg, whom he married in 1901, from some distant (and incorrect) location writing such things as, "Am at Market Harborough. Where ought I to be?" to which she would reply, "Home."


Chesterton loved to debate, often publicly debating friends like George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, and Clarence Darrow. Chesterton was usually considered the winner.


He is buried in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, in the Roman Catholic Cemetery.


Chesterton's influence


  • G.K. Chesterton, seatedChesterton's The Everlasting Man contributed to a young atheist named C. S. Lewis being converted to Christianity.

  • Chesterton's Orthodoxy has become a religious classic.

  • An essay that Chesterton wrote for the Illustrated London News inspired Mohandas Gandhi to lead the movement to end British colonial rule in India.

  • Chesterton's novel The Napoleon of Notting Hill inspired Michael Collins to lead a movement for Irish Independence.

  • Chesterton's writings have been praised by such authors as Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene, Frederick Buechner, Evelyn Waugh, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Karel Capek, Marshall McLuhan, Paul Claudel, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Sigrid Undset, Ronald Knox, C. S. Lewis, Kingsley Amis, W. H. Auden, Anthony Burgess, E. F. Schumacher, Neil Gaiman, Orson Welles, Dorothy Day and others.

  • Chesterton's work has inspired lyricists like Daniel Amos's Terry Scott Taylor from the 1970s to the 2000s. Daniel Amos mentioned Chesterton by name in the title track from 2001's Mr. Buechner's Dream.

  • His physical appearance, and apparently some of his mannerisms, were a direct inspiration for the character of Dr. Gideon Fell, a well-known fictional detective created in the early 1930s by the American-Anglo mystery writer John Dickson Carr.


Some conservatives today have been influenced by his support for distributism. The right-wing journalist A. K. Chesterton was a cousin.




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