G.K. Chesterton, the “prince of paradox”
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (May 29, 1874 – June 14, 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, Chesterton’s “friendly enemy” according to Time, 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.