Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith Chesterton), 1874–1936, English author. Conservative, even reactionary, in his thinking, Chesterton was a convert (1922) to Roman Catholicism and its champion. He has been called the “prince of paradox” because his dogma is often hidden beneath a light, energetic, and whimsical style. A prolific writer, Chesterton wrote studies of Browning (1903) and Dickens (1906); several novels including The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904) and The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), a metaphysical terrorist thriller; a noted series of crime stories featuring Father Brown as detective; many poems, collected in 1927; and his famous essays, collected in Tremendous Trifles (1909), Come to Think of It (1930), and other volumes. He was the editor of G. K.'s Weekly, an organ of the Distributist League, which advocated a smallholding agricultural system. An amusing artist, he also illustrated books by Hilaire Belloc, his friend and collaborator.
See his autobiography (1936); the Ignatius Press edition of his complete works (1990–); biographies by D. Barker (1973), M. Ffinch (1986), and I. Ker (2011); studies by C. Hollis (1970), J. West (1915, repr. 1973), A. S. Dale (1985), and Q. Lauer (1988).
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