Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy: The Making of GKC, 1874-1908

G. K. Chesterton is often regarded as a staunch and unwavering apologist for Christianity, a culture-warrior of the right, a rollicking jester who trounced his opponents with incisive paradoxes and witty self-mockery. There is partial truth in this reading, but it is more valid for the older and somewhat repetitive Chester ton than for the younger and far more original writer. William Oddie’s fine account of Chesterton’s early intellectual formation—as he moved from a life-shaking skepticism to a convinced and self-critical faith—is a helpful corrective to the notion that, like a latter-day Athena, GKC sprang from the godhead as a full-blown defensor fidei.

 

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