Essays of a Catholic
Publisher: TAN Books
Publication Date: 2003-10-03
Hilaire Belloc was an Anglo-French writer and historian. He was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, sailor, satirist, man of letters, soldier and political activist. His Catholic faith had a strong impact on his works. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP for Salford from 1906 to 1910. He was a noted disputant, with a number of long-running feuds, but also widely regarded as a humane and sympathetic man. Belloc became a naturalised British subject in 1902, while retaining his French citizenship. Belloc wrote on myriad subjects, from warfare to poetry to the many current topics of his day. He has been called one of the Big Four of Edwardian Letters, along with H.G.Wells, George Bernard Shaw, and G. K. Chesterton, all of whom debated with each other into the 1930s.
I am surprised that Essays of a Catholic slipped under my radar for so long. It is probably the best single work for summing up Belloc's ideas. It ranges from fairly singular topics, like usury, to broader ones which draw upon his entire corpus, such as "Faith and Industrial Capitalism." "Science as the Enemy of Truth" is almost a little too on-the-nose under the Fauci regime.
The book still doesn't get close to covering the entire breadth of Belloc's nonfiction work, but it may serve as a good jumping off point for the uninitiated. For an old Belloc fan like me, it was a great pleasure.