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The Wit and Wisdom of G.K. Chesterton.

The Wit and Wisdom of G.K. Chesterton. Bevis Hillier, editor. Continuum. [pounds sterling] 14.99. xxxix + 272 pages. ISBN 978-1-4411-7958-6. As Mr Hillier writes, Chesterton was a man 'who thought in epigrams' so a collection of his sayings, witticisms and observations is not out of place. Surprisingly, this is the first such collection published since 1911, and as that was twenty-five years before his death the selection was obviously severely limited. In this case the editor has done his homework and scoured the wide range of publications in which Chesterton wrote. He obviously admires G.K.C.'s ability to make people think by running against the received liberal views of the intelligentsia even if he dislikes Chesterton's anti-semitism. There is no section devoted to that topic or to the author's attacks on Suffragettes. Mr Hillier divides his harvest of quotations into 20 sections, two of which are 'tasters' and 'miscellaneous'. The rest are literature, architecture, England, America, education, detective stories and on and on, each one guaranteed to make the reader think, no small achievement in an author who has been dead for 75 years. (A.C.)

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Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2011
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