G. K. Chesterton
Thanks especially to the donations of Joseph Sprug and Archbishop Robert Dwyer, Mount Angel Abbey Library has a large collection of materials by and about Gilbert Keith Chesterton. What follows is a guide to this collection and to research on Chesterton.
Most of these materials can be found on the lowest floor of the library, in the Chesterton section (PR 4453).
Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton (1874-1936) was an English writer, literary critic and author of the Father Brown detective stories. He was born in London and educated at St. Paul's School before studying art at the Slade. But art was always secondary to letters. He wrote regular articles for many newspapers and magazines, took over the New Witness on the death of his brother, Cecil, in 1918 and revived it as G.K.'s Weekly in 1924. He was a man of much geniality but he had a strong antipathy for the squalor of industrialism and disliked both capitalism and socialism, yearning, like his great friend Hilaire Belloc (whose books he amusingly illustrated), for a return to the distributivist economics of the Middle Ages. He sought to undermine secularism with an apologia that took religion as the guide and goal of all thought and action. He found sanity and creativity in a God-centered, not man-centered, universe; in an informed heart, not in rationalism or irrationalism. His 111 books (with about a dozen pamphlets) including essays, poetry, novels, and literary, social and religious studies (he was converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922), reveal his tremendous energy, robust humor and mastery of paradox.