G. K. Chesterton
Oh, how I love Humanity,
With love so pure and pringlish,
And how I hate the horrid French,
Who never will be English!
The International Idea,
The largest and the clearest,
Is welding all the nations now,
Except the one that’s nearest.
This compromise has long been known,
This scheme of partial pardons,
In ethical societies
And small suburban gardens—
The villas and the chapels where
I learned with little labour
The way to love my fellow-man
And hate my next-door neighbour.
G. K. Chesterton (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was an English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic. Chesterton is often referred to as the “prince of paradox”. A magazine has observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories — first carefully turning them inside out.”
Chesterton is well known for his fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and for his reasoned apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognized the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an “orthodox” Christian, and came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, his “friendly enemy”, said of him, “He was a man of colossal genius.” Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal John Henry Newman, and John Ruskin.