Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Maisie Ward
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, by
Maisie Ward

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Title: Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Author: Maisie Ward

Release Date: June 28, 2006 [eBook #18707]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by David McClamrock

Transcriber's note

This electronic edition is intended to contain the complete, unaltered
text of the first published edition of Gilbert Keith Chesterton by Maisie
Ward (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1943), with the following
The index, and a few other references to page numbers that do not exist
in this edition, have been omitted.
Italics are represented by underscores at the beginning and end, like
Footnotes* have been placed directly below the paragraph referring to
them and enclosed in brackets.
[* Like this.]
Any other deviations from the text of the first edition may be regarded
as defects and attributed to the transcriber.


Introduction: Chiefly Concerning Sources
Background for Gilbert Keith Chesterton II Childhood III School Days
IV Art Schools and University College V The Notebook VI Towards a
Career VII Incipit Vita Nova VIII To Frances IX A Long Engagement

X Who is G.K.C.? XI Married Life in London XII Clearing the Ground
for Orthodoxy XIII Orthodoxy XIV Bernard Shaw XV From Battersea
to Beaconsfield XVI A Circle of Friends XVII The Disillusioned
Liberal XVIII The Eye Witness XIX Marconi XX The Eve of the War
(1911-1915) XXI The War Years XXII After the Armistice XXIII
Rome via Jerusalem XXIV Completion XXV The Reluctant Editor
(1925-1930) XXVI The Distributist League and Distributism XXVII
Silver Wedding XXVIII Columbus XXIX The Soft Answer XXX Our
Lady's Tumbler XXXI The Living Voice XXXII Last Days
Appendix A--An Earlier Chesterton Appendix B--Prize Poem Written
at St. Paul's Appendix C--The Chestertons

Chiefly Concerning Sources
THE MATERIAL FOR this book falls roughly into two parts: spoken
and written. Gilbert Chesterton was not an old man when he died and
many of his friends and contemporaries have told me incidents and
recalled sayings right back to his early boyhood. This part of the
material has been unusually rich and copious so that I could get a
clearer picture of the boy and the young man than is usually granted to
the biographer.
The book has been in the making for six years and in three countries.
Several times I hid it aside for some months so as to be able to get a
fresh view of it. I talked to all sorts of people, heard all sorts of ideas,
saw my subject from every side; I went to Paris to see one old friend, to
Indiana to see others, met for the first time in lengthy talk Maurice
Baring, H. G. Wells and Bernard Shaw; went to Kingsland to see Mr.
Belloc; gathered Gilbert's boyhood friends of the Junior Debating Club
in London and visited "Father Brown" among his Yorkshire moors.

Armed with a notebook, I tried to miss none who had known Gilbert
well, especially in his youth: E. C. Bentley, Lucian Oldershaw,
Lawrence Solomon, Edward Fordham. I had ten long letters from
Annie Firmin, my most valuable witness as to Gilbert's childhood. For
information on the next period of his life, I talked to Monsignor
O'Connor, to Hilaire Belloc, Maurice Baring, Charles Somers Cocks, F.
Y. Eccles and others, besides being now able to draw on my own
memories. Frances I had talked with on and off about their early
married years ever since I had first known them, but she was, alas, too
ill and consequently too emotionally unstrung during the last months
for me to ask her all the questions springing in my mind. "Tell Maisie,"
she said to Dorothy Collins, "not to talk to me about Gilbert. It makes
me cry."
For the time at Beaconsfield, out of a host of friends the most valuable
were Dr. Pocock and Dr. Bakewell. Among priests, Monsignors
O'Connor and Ronald Knox, Fathers Vincent McNabb, O.P. and
Ignatius Rice, O.S.B. were especially intimate.
Dorothy Collins's evidence covers a period of ten years. That of H. G.
Wells and Bernard Shaw is reinforced by most valuable letters which
they have kindly allowed me to publish.
Then too Gilbert was so much of a public character and so popular with
his fellow journalists that stories of all kinds abound: concerning him
there is a kind of evidence, and very valuable it is, that may be
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