Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton

Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton

by Joseph Pearce

Described by his critics as 'naive', by his wife as the 'jolly journalist' and by Dorothy L.

On the 60th anniversary of his death and drawing on much previously unpublished material, Pearce's biography surveys the celebratory life and prolific writing which made him a household name.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.

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.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Biography
  • Rating: 4.57
  • Pages: 522
  • Publish Date: February 1st 1997 by Ignatius Press
  • Isbn10: 0898707005
  • Isbn13: 9780898707007

What People Think about "Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton"

I have rarely gotten emotional at the end of biographies.

Pearce's title, Wisdom and Innocence alludes to a core dynamic expressed in the life of Chesterton -- the embrace of romance and reality, wonder and wisdom, faith and reason. Chesterton did not write a Surprised by Joy equivalent about his embrace of Christianity via the Anglican church, but the tipping point occurred when he was beginning to teach and met a young nihilist who believed in nothing, not even the possibility of truth. From an early age Chesterton held the large industrialists of the day in contempt, and critiqued capitalism first from the left, and then later from Catholic theology. Pearce also visits Chesterton in the company of his friends and rivals.

K. Chesterton through one of my other favorite authors, C. S. Lewis considered most influential in his life, and Chesterton's Everlasting Man was among them. One of the earliest quotes that captured this for me was in his book Heretics describing (I think) Byron: We might, no doubt, find it a nuisance to count all the blades of grass or all the leaves of the trees; but this would not be because of our boldness or gaiety, but because of our lack of boldness and gaiety. One thing I most enjoyed was his interactions with contemporary authors, including among then H. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book: On the confessing of sins: According to a contemporary critic, it is morbid to confess your sins. The morbid thing is to conceal your sins and let them eat your heart out, which is the happy state of most people in highly civilized societies. We do not want, as the newspapers say, a Church that will move with the world. We want a Church that will move the world. It is by that test that history will really judge, of any Church, whether it is the real Church or no. George Bernard Shaw on eugenics: Now when men claim scientific authority for their ignorance, and police support for their aggressive presumption, it is time for Mr Chesterton and all other men of sense to withstand them sturdily.

"Holy Father deeply grieved death Mr. Gilbert Keith Chesterton devoted son Holy Church gifted Defender of the Catholic Faith.

I had only the vaguest of pictures of Chestertons life before reading this biography, but my love for him has certainly been cemented now.

and both his writings and his life call out to all of us to put aside differences, debate and disagree with grace and humor, and experience the joy of being alive . And one can't help but be touched by his deeply held Christian faith ... One of the things that has so impressed me about his writings is that he addressed issues that are as current today as they were at the time he was alive ie.