Tue, 24 September 2019
Chesterton ages 30-40; 1904-1914--At 30 years of age, Chesterton’s popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. Suddenly, he’s in demand as a writer and a speaker. He meets Father O’Connor, the priest who’s the inspiration behind the Father Brown mysteries. Chesterton’s brother-in-law’s mental illness will affect this decade. Chesterton’s first novel, The Napolean of Notting Hill is published. His most respected work of literary criticism is published, his book on Charles Dickens, for which he is credited as creating a resurgence of interest in Dickens. His two books The Man Who Was Thursday and Orthodoxy are published, both well received. Orthodoxy will entice many an unsuspecting reader into the sunny country of Christianity.
His brother-in-law commits suicide, his wife has a nervous breakdown, and the Chestertons need a change of scenery and move 20 minutes outside of London to Beaconsfield. Chesterton and Shaw begin their great rivalry and friendship, the first Father Brown story is published. The Ballad of the White Horse is published, Lepanto is published, Chesterton’s great autobiographical novel Manalive is published. The Marconi Scandal happens, his first play Magic is performed. As the world hovers on the brink of war, Chesterton is forty years old, severely overweight, and he collapses into what will become a very long illness. And that, my friends, is a very busy ten years, and we can perhaps see why Chesterton was overworked and exhausted.
So next episode will pick up here, ages 40 to 50, the years 1914 to 1924. Until then, thanks for listening, and God bless you.
Gilbert and Frances Chesterton, pray for us!