Issue: Summer 2020
The President of The Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton in America, Dale Ahlquist, leads this issue with a thought-provoking article on the subject of death in the light of Chesterton’s insights. There is a short report on where Chesterton lived at different times in England, and a summary of a Greg Sheridan article which draws on Chesterton’s understanding of courage. Tributes are paid to “Two Champions of Chesterton” who recently died – Clive James (by Karl Schmude) and William Oddie (by Francis Phillips), and Garry Nieuwkamp contributes a review of Oddie’s important 2008 study of Chesterton. Richard Egan explores the thoughts of the British author (and member of the Inklings with CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien), Charles Williams, on the meaning and purpose of sexual love, followed by a number of remarkable Chesterton prophesies on the Sexual Revolution. The issue concludes with a report on the worldwide interest in Chesterton as revealed by enquirers to the Australian Chesterton website, created in 2016 by Marty Schmude.
Charles Williams (1885- 1945), a contemporary of Chesterton, was a novelist, poet, playwright, literary critic and theologian. Richard Egan looks closely at Williams’ “Outlines of Romantic Theology”, written in 1925 but not published until 1990, exploring in particular his insights into sexual love.
The well-known English author and Chesterton biographer, William Oddie, is remembered by Francis Phillips as a “large personality in Catholic journalistic circles”. Oddie served as editor of the London “Catholic Herald” from 1998 to 2004.
Garry Nieuwkamp reviews this biography of Chesterton, published in 2008, which is of special value for the light it sheds on Chesterton’s early life and his intellectual development.
The late Australian author and broadcaster Clive James said of Chesterton that he “wrote a lot faster than most of us can read.” Karl Schmude reflects on James’ admiration of Chesterton.
‘Overroads’ in the town of Beaconsfield was the first home of Frances and Gilbert Chesterton outside of London. The site of much of Chesterton’s early writing, it was recently threatened with demolition, provoking both local and international opposition.
As Holy Week in the Christian calendar approaches, the Chesterton scholar Dale Ahlquist ponders our changed attitude to death, and how we now seem more afraid of life than of death.