G K Chesterton: A Biography by Ian Ker - review by Peter Washington

Peter Washington

A Large Corpus

G K Chesterton: A Biography


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There is a farce by Alan Bennett in which Virginia Woolf is said to have won the prize for Tallest Writer of the Year. By analogy, one would have to award the prize for Fattest Writer Ever to G K Chesterton. Catholicism apart, his size is probably the thing that most people know about him.

Disappointingly, Ian Ker’s new biography has little to say about the matter, yet I would have thought the equation of Chesterton’s extraordinary appearance with his extreme prose style irresistible. That style, with its unstoppable coinage of paradoxes and wild flights of fancy, has sometimes been traced to the

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