by Jeet Heer
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) is a bit of a shadowy figure in contemporary cultural memory. There is, to be a sure, a Chesterton cult which cherishes him as a sage but most people have only a small glimmer of his various achievements as a novelist (The Man Who Was Thursday), detective story writer (creator of the Father Brown stories), intellectual sparring partner of G.B. Shaw and H.G. Wells, religious apologist (The Everlasting Man), and literary critic (The Victorian Age in Literature and other books).
Chesterton was also a cartoonist, as I was recently reminded while reading an essay by Wilfrid Sheed. Chesterton had studied art as a young man and worked as an illustrator before becoming a full-time writer. His cartoons are a bit hard to come by. I’ve seen some here and there in The Chesterton Review and a few of the books, but could only find one online. (The image pasted above.)