Appreciations and Criticisms of The Works of Charles Dickens – Gilbert Keith Chesterton
This book may not be, Chesterton says, important as a contribution to history, but it is important as a contribution to biography; as a contribution to the character and the career of the man who wrote it, a typical man of his time. That Dickens made no personal historical researches, that he had no special historical learning, that he had not had, in truth, even anything that could be called a good education, all this accentuates not the merit but at least the importance of the book. For here, thinks Mr. Chesterton, may be read in plain popular language, written by a man whose genius for popular exposition has never been surpassed among men, a brief account of the origin and meaning of England as it seemed to the average Englishman of that age. This book will always remain as a bright and brisk summary of the cock-sure, healthy-minded, essentially manly and essentially ungentlemanly view of history which characterises the Radicals of that particular Radical era.
Appreciations and Criticisms of The Works of Charles Dickens.
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Summary of Gilbert Keith Chesterton (from Wikipedia):
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936), better known as G. K. Chesterton, was an English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic. Chesterton is often referred to as the „prince of paradox“. Time magazine has observed of his writing style: „Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.“
Chesterton is well known for his fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and for his reasoned apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognised the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an „orthodox“ Christian, and came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, his „friendly enemy“, said of him, „He was a man of colossal genius.“ Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal John Henry Newman, and John Ruskin.
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