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Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G. K. Chesterton

4.52 of 5 stars 4.52  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Described by his critics as 'naive', by his wife as the 'jolly journalist' and by Dorothy L. Sayers as a 'beneficent bomb', Chesterton is one of the most enigmatic figures of the early twentieth century. On the 60th anniversary of his death and drawing on much previously unpublished material, Pearce's biography surveys the celebratory life and prolific writing which made h ...more
Paperback, 522 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Ignatius Press (first published February 1st 1997)
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Elizabeth
Fantastic biography. I enjoyed it almost as much as I enjoy reading Chesterton himself (which is saying a lot).

It's worth noting that this is a Catholic perspective of Chesterton. As a non-Catholic, I got the glimpse into Chesteron's spiritual self that I wanted, and a great deal of insight into the difference between us.

I have rarely gotten emotional at the end of biographies. We know, after all, how they all end. But by the time I closed in on 500 pages of celebration of such a brilliant and j
...more
Sylvia
The most delightful thing about this book was the frequent and extensive quotation of Chesterton, which showcased his wisdom and clear perception of the world. Alongside this, the theme of innocence also ran throughout the whole biography, beginning in chapter one with a beautiful description of G.K.'s childhood and its importance: "Whenever the vaunt of woe appeared triumphant and the darkness of despair descended, a gleam of childlight would disperse the shadows. Years later, when the battle w ...more
Emily
A good biography, with many fantastic insights into who Chesterton was. I was a little put off by Pearce's style now and then, and occasionally annoyed by his methods, so it's not a five-star book. However, I'm a lover of the classics, so please understand that this weights my standards - this is still a very good book. I really appreciated that the book did not just end with Chesterton's death, but continued to cover the death of his wife, Frances. The two were one flesh, and this is very fitti ...more
Steve
I love a man I have never met, and this book has made me love him more. G.K Chesterton has been dead for 50 years, yet when his death was reported in this book it brought a tear to my eye. This book gives insight into the man, as well as his writings and is a must read for any fan for G.K. Chesterton.
Heather Bain
I did not want to put this book down. I cried at the end because I felt the impact of Chesterton's life upon me and all those who have been touched by his wit and wisdom. Pearce does a great job in using historical records and written works to give us a broader scope of the person he truly was.
Vicki
This is a biography about one of my favorite people, by one of my favorite biographers! Needless to say, I am really enjoying this.
Shawn White
An amazing biography of a dazzling literary giant. I could not love this book more than I do. I was severely sad to have finished it.
Donna
If GKC isn't a saint, I don't know who is. This is an excellent biography of an interesting and complex man.
booklady
I love G. K. Chesterton as an author and Joseph Pearce as a biographer. They come together beautifully in this book!
Matt
Great literary treatment of Chesterton's life by a fellow convert to Catholicism.
Sean
Mar 26, 2009 Sean added it
TXU: PR4453.C4 Z743 1996
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Joseph Pearce (born 1961) is an English-born writer, and as of 2004 Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of Catholic figures. Formerly aligned with the National Front, a white nationalist po ...more
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