Thu, 26 September 2019
In 1914 Chesterton is stricken by a mysterious illness that puts him in a weakened state and mostly in a coma for almost five months. When he reawakens, the world is still at war, and he begins writing about the war and in support of the war effort, and in criticism of the war too. His brother Cecil goes off to war, and unfortunately dies, crushing Gilbert.
Gilbert goes on lecture tours to Ireland, Jerusalem and then America, giving a huge number of speeches. His father dies, another blow for Gilbert. He finally decides to convert, even without Frances, proving, to Father O’Connor, that he was really doing God’s will. For the first time, the BBC broadcasts a speech Gilbert makes at a restaurant. His book St. Francis of Asissi is published to great acclaim and becomes a best seller. He begins publishing his own paper, G.K.’s Weekly, and we’ll talk more about that next time as we get into the Distributist League.
There were six works—one book and five pamphlets— specifically written as propaganda for the war and they are:
The Barbarism of Berlin (free on Project Gutenberg)
Prussian v. Belgian Culture (pamphlet)
Letters to an Old Garibaldian (CW 5)
The Crimes of England (CW 5) (book)
The Martyrdom of Belgium (pamphlet) 9 pages
How to Help Annexation (CW 5)
His volumes of ILN columns during the war years are in Collected Works Volume 30 which covers 1914-1916
Volume 31 covers 1917-1919