20 November 2003
CHESTERTON, Gilbert Keith (1874-1936). Series of 9 autograph letters signed and 9 typed letters signed (one with signature excised) to Maurice Baring, Beaconsfield and Alexandria (one), -1929, the majority incompletely dated, altogether ten pages, 4to, in autograph, and 28 pages, 4to, typewritten, cloth covered box.
Letters on the Catholic church, Palestine, and literary matters. Much of the middle period of the correspondence is taken up with discussions (usually couched in elyptical terms) of Chesterton's gradual move towards joining the Roman Catholic church, worrying about life as an Anglo-Catholic, then about what his wife would do, reassuring Baring that 'the thing may look rather stationary, but it moves', and finally announcing that 'my train of thought ... came to an explosion in the Church of the Ecce Homo in Jerusalem'. There are a number of amusing asides on literary men (Swinburne 'a very well-read Victorian old maid', and Gosse 'a very valuable old Victorian in his way'), and projects, including Chesterton's plan to start a Catholic newspaper; together with ruefull confessions ('I hardly ever read any novels but detective stories') and tributes to Baring ('You have probably the widest and most varied world of friendship of any man I know').
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