Thursday, June 30, 2011

The cheery Chesterton.

In a TLS review of Ian Ker's G. K. Chesterton and William Oddie's The Holiness of G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Manzo underscores the cheerfulness of Chesterton, mentions the perception of Father Brown, and comments on the elaborate masquerade of The Man Who Was Thursday. Ker's biography indicates that Chesterton regarded Father Brown as a way to augment his bank account when funds were low and that Monsignor Ronald Knox, Chesterton's fellow Detection Club member, did not consider the Father Brown stories to be mysteries (283–84). But in Ker's description of Father Brown's "intimate knowledge of the human heart"  (284), there seem to be definite parallels with Christie's later Miss Marple, yet another sleuth who looks deceptively fluffy but is unerring in her estimation of human motivations and actions.

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