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Twelve Types: A Collection of Mini-Biographies

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  67 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
G. K. Chesterton's biographical essays provide unique portraits of 12 of Europe's most defining figures. Written by one of the world's master essayists, this collection richly expresses Chesterton's thoughts on Charlotte Brontë, William Morris, Byron, Pope, St. Francis of Assisi, Rostand, Charles II, Stevenson, Thomas Carlyle, Tolstoy, Savonarola, and Sir Walter Scott. The ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published December 1st 2002 by Ihs Press (first published 1902)
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Feb 19, 2016 Jim rated it it was amazing
Whenever I feel that the shadows are gathering around me, and all my efforts are coming to naught, I pick up a volume of G.K. Chesterton and find that I've just been looking at things through the wrong end of the telescope.

Twelve Types: A Collection of Mini-Biographies is ostensibly a collection of essays on literary subjects. I don't know why the subtitle refers to "Mini-Biographies," because GKC is not interested in biographies. Instead he concentrates on how we see the world around us, as su
There's no one I'd rather read literary criticism from than G.K. Chesterton. True, he doesn't usually deal in hard facts or provide much in the way of evidential support for his arguments, but what he does do is give you tons of interesting ideas to mull over, and he presents them in some of the most eloquent, sophisticated prose I've ever seen.
The title for this book is wrong. In no way could these essays be construed as "mini-biographies." They are simply Chesterton's thoughts on a dozen diffe
Mar 21, 2012 Erunion rated it really liked it
Chesterton is not the sort of writer you read for logical argument. You will find no brilliantly set forth syllogisms. You will find no premises that support their conclusions. Nor will you find a brilliant explanation of a fallacy that will completely devastate the other side. Chesterton is not that sort of writer.

Rather, in him you find a writer with brilliant, and witty, insights. Chesterton is the sort of author that does not change your conclusions, but instead he changes the very way you t
Nov 28, 2014 Kenneth rated it it was amazing
This little volume, originally published in 1902, is a collection of short pieces Chesterton wrote originally for publication in contemporary periodicals of his day. They are a mix of historical, cultural and literary criticism in content, and left me with an urge to read more of the works of the novelists included - Charlotte Bronte, Robert Louis Stevenson, Leo Tolstoy and Sir Walter Scott. Perhaps I will, although I own a zillion books I have yet to read, so they will have competition for my a ...more
Aug 16, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
A fine set of cameos - in GKC's inimitable style. Makes me want to read Scott, Bronte and Pope.
1. CHARLOTTE BRONTË: The Brontë is in the position of the mad lady in a country village; her eccentricities form an endless source of innocent conversation to that exceedingly mild and bucolic circle, the literary world.

2. WILLIAM MORRIS AND HIS SCHOOL: It is proper enough that the unveiling of the bust of William Morris should approximate to a public festival, for while there have been many men of genius in the Victorian era more despotic than he, there have been none so representative.

3. THE
Jul 21, 2010 Jo rated it really liked it
I read the chapters on Bronte, Stevenson and Scott. It was very good. I love Chesterton, he always makes me think in ways I've yet to discover. Bronte is my personal favorite, Stevenson is my favorite for children's works, and Scott is a new discovery to me. I would describe him as the male form of an Austin/Bronte mix. Not bad for a good read.
Tom vC
Feb 26, 2011 Tom vC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Amazing. Full of insights.
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Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was born in London, educated at St. Paul’s, and went to art school at University College London. In 1900, he was asked to contribute a few magazine articles on art criticism, and went on to become one of the most prolific writers of all time. He wrote a hundred books, contributions to 200 more, hundreds of poems, including the epic Ballad of the White Horse, fi ...more
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“To begin with, we must protest against a habit of quoting and paraphrasing at the same time. When a man is discussing what Jesus meant, let him state first of all what He said, not what the man thinks He would have said if he had expressed Himself more clearly.” 2 likes
“For most people there is a fascinating inconsistency in the position of St. Francis. He expressed in loftier and bolder language than any earthly thinker the conception that laughter is as divine as tears. He called his monks the mountebanks of God. He never forgot to take pleasure in a bird as it flashed past him, or a drop of water as it fell from his finger; he was perhaps the happiest of the sons of men. Yet this man undoubtedly founded his whole polity on the negation of what we think of the most imperious necessities; in his three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience he denied to himself, and those he loved most, property, love, and liberty. Why was it that the most large-hearted and poetic spirits in that age found their most congenial atmosphere in these awful renunciations? Why did he who loved where all men were blind, seek to blind himself where all men loved? Why was he a monk and not a troubadour? We have a suspicion that if these questions were answered we should suddenly find that much of the enigma of this sullen time of ours was answered also.” 1 likes
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