Record

CodeNA6771
Dates1874-1936
Person NameChesterton; Gilbert, Keith (1874-1936); poet, novelist, critic
SurnameChesterton
ForenamesGilbert, Keith
Epithetpoet, novelist, critic
ActivityGilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), poet, novelist and critic, was the son of Edward Chesterton, auctioneer and estate agent, and Marie Louise Grosjean. He was educated at St Paul's School, 1887-1892. By age 16 he was almost two years behind with his school work, but in other respects he was more advanced, for example, he started the debating club and a magazine called the 'Debater' and his drawing skills were good enough for him to study at the Slade School of Art. He continued his studies of literature at London University.

His first posts were in publishing houses and in journalism and by 1899 he was working on the 'Speaker'. In 1901 he married Frances Blogg (d 1938), daughter of a diamond merchant. Chesterton was pro-Boer during the South African War. The Chesterton's had no children of their own but surrounded themselves with nieces, nephews and godchildren. During the period after the start of the First World War, Chesterton sufferered from a serious illness brought on by over-work and over-indulgence, but with careful nursing from his wife, he survived. When his brother Cecil enlisted in the army in 1916, Gilbert took over the editorship of his newspaper the 'New Witness', which he continued until it terminated in 1923. He revived it in 1925 as 'G K's Weekly', which ran until 1938.

In 1922 Chesterton became a Roman Catholic and his wife was received into the church in 1926. Chesterton travelled a lot in the later years of his life, to Europe and America, giving lectures. He also gave several series of talks on the radio. Chesteron published over a hundred volumes which include:'The Wild Knight' (1900); 'Orthodoxy' (1908); 'The Innocence of Father Brown' (1911); 'Outline of Sanity' (1926); 'The Coloured Lands' (1938); and large quantities of essays, poems and plays.
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