Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Long-dead authors: Belloc

This morning's recommendation from Amazon.com left me somewhat bemused. This is, I suppose, what I get for listing long-dead authors as my favorites. What got me was the line:
For this reason you might like to know that Hilaire Belloc's newest book, Europe and the Faith: "Sine auctoritate nulla vita", is now available in Paperback.

Uh, hello? Belloc's been dead for about fifty years.

Form letters notwithstanding, though, I really wish the old-school writers -- Belloc and Chesterton (and yes, even GB Shaw) -- were still alive. They exuded a sensibility which appealed to the mind.

Belloc has a special place in my heart. He was influential in Chesterton's conversion and the two remained good friends for life. Some additional information on the writer, by way of Wikipedia:
Joseph Hilaire Pierre RenĂ© Belloc (July 27, 1870–July 16, 1953) was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. His style and personality during later life complemented the nickname he received in childhood, "Old Thunder." One of Belloc's most famous statements was "the faith is Europe and Europe is the faith"; this sums up his strongly-held, orthodox Roman Catholic views, and the cultural conclusions he drew from them, which were expressed at length in many of his works from the period 1920-1940. These are still cited as exemplary of Catholic apologetics.

And said work recommended by Amazon is available on Gutenberg.


  1. There is something about old school authors that make you want to read them. There's less angst, they are more sober, wiser, deeper.

  2. Newest book. Hah. Funny at that. I haven't tried reading Belloc yet. But he's also included in my list. I'm now actually engrossed with Chesterton, Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)and Balthasar =)

    Oh, in my own understanding of Chesterton, he uses the common sense of the world to refute itself in the light of Catholicism, which to me, really does makes sense. Perhaps that's the reason Ahlquist dubbed him in his book as the Apostle of Common Sense.

    Yes. Wishing them here would definitely be a sight to behold, Dom. Even though Shaw was a spritual atheist, Chesterton remained good friends with him and H.G Wells as well.

    God Bless,


  3. Hi, Jun: yes, so true. I'm wondering when that shift happened. Possibly a topic for a future post.

    Hi, Claire: good to hear from you. Enjoyed reading about the church banner that held on in the storm. And, of course, go Chesterton!

  4. hey dominique! inez here. speaking of books -- you joining NaNoWriMo this year?

  5. Hi, Inez: yep, am joining. (God knows why. As if I didn't have enough trouble last year.) Will get around to registering maybe next week.

  6. Kind of gives new meaning to the phrase "ghost writer", if you ask me. :)