A biography of G. K. Chesterton by Joseph Pearce.
Described by his critics as "naive", by his wife as the "jolly journalist" and by Dorothy L Sayers as a "beneficent bomb", Chesterton is one of the most enigmatic figures of the early twentieth century. On the 60th anniversary of his death and drawing on much previously unpublished material, Pearce's biography surveys the celebratory life and prolific writing which made him a household name.
In his rapid rise to fame at the start of the century, Chesterton took Fleet Street by storm, writing a huge number of essays, biographies, poems, novels, plays and, of course, the much loved Father Brown stories. He debated with all the great names of the day, disdaining conventionality, championing the Liberal cause and prophesying the wars and catastrophes that the century would witness. A modern intellect, he strove for integrity, his religious faith and conversion to Catholicism affecting every area of his life and profoundly influencing C.S.Lewis, Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene.
At the heart of the man who aroused critical acclaim at home and abroad, is someone who loved the friendship of children, idolised his wife and was sustained by his great friendships with Hilaire Belloc, Bernard Shaw and H.G.Wells. A large man in every sense, perhaps his greatest discovery was that "the secret of life lies in laughter and humility".
"Pearce has avoided the factual errors and misjudgements made by most earlier biographers, and his research has been meticulous, with the result that this study contains a great deal of important material never before published. This is the most important work on Chesterton since Maisie Ward's official biography of 1944."
– The G K Chesterton Study Centre
Joseph Pearce was born in East London in 1961, but has lived in Norfolk since 1988. Like Chesterton, he has found his home in the Catholic Church into which he was received, quite appropriately, on St Joseph's Day 1989. This book is the fruit of over four years' research.