Item description for Twelve Types: A Collection of Mini-Biographies by G. K. Chesterton & Malcolm Brennan...
G. K. Chesterton's biographical essays provide unique portraits of 12 of Europe's most defining figures. Written by one of the world's master essayists, this collection richly expresses Chesterton's thoughts on Charlotte Bronte, William Morris, Byron, Pope, St. Francis of Assisi, Rostand, Charles II, Stevenson, Thomas Carlyle, Tolstoy, Savonarola, and Sir Walter Scott. The book is a perfect companion for any literature, politics, or history course dealing with European history. It is also an excellent addition to any personal or scholarly library.
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G.K. Chesteron was born in 1874. He attended the Slade School of Art, where he appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown, before turning his hand to journalism. A prolific writer throughout his life, his best-known books include The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), The Man Who Knew Too Much(1922), The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) and the Father Brown stories. Chesterton converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922 and died in 1938. Michael D. Hurley is a Lecturer in English at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St Catharine's College. He has written widely on English literature from the nineteenth century to the present day, with an emphasis on poetry and poetics. His book on G. K. Chesterton was published in 2011.
G. K. Chesterton lived in London. G. K. Chesterton was born in 1874 and died in 1936.
G. K. Chesterton has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Twelve Types: A Collection of Mini-Biographies?
We admire ruined monasteries. Why not ruined men as well? Jun 21, 2007
"GKC" was pushing 30 when TWELVE TYPES was pulled together in book form in 1903. It made his literary reputation among the cognoscenti of England.
His little essays touch on one woman and eleven men. All twelve "types" are well known, although for different skills, including writing, thinking, brooding or kinging it.
Charlotte Bronte wrote of plain people with big, sometimes tortured souls. William Morris found the 19th Century ugly and tried to reshape it in stained glass and cloth to evoke better bygone ages.
Lord Byron wore many disguises, including pessimism. Robert Louis Stevenson was even more a man of masks. Alexander Pope knew, generously, that people worth satirizing had to have a core of value. He made his witty, wise couplets look easy. But no one who has copied him has been remotely so good.
What did Francis of Assisi and Edmund Rostand share? They were great poets, first and foremost. Francis loved life and people more happily than anyone before or since. Rostand's soldiers dying in fear of the crows that would soon pluck out their eyes cheered for Napoleon one last "Vive l'empereur!."
That idlest but most despotic of Stuart Kings, Charles II, was a thorough sceptic. He was not just sceptical about this or that. He doubted everything. Even in turning Catholic and taking communion on his deathbed, he might muse, "The wafer might not be God, similarly it might not be a wafer." Charles's restoration in 1660 was a revolt "of the debris of human nature." Men of the Restoration, weak Epicureans all, were masters of killing time. Higher Epicureans "make time live."
Thomas Carlyle believed his message to be true and important but did not think it important to persuade others. Count Tolstoy saw the simplicity of "mere Christianity" but then tried to codify it in rules. Michelangelo was a friend of the austere Dominican Monk of Florence Savonarola and would gladly have tossed his greatest works into the "bonfire of the vanities" if he thought its flames signaled "the dawn of a younger and wiser world."
Finally, Sir Walter Scott. He is the eternal king of romance and romance touches the deepest core of human nature. First impressions are deepest. And boys are therefore right to pay more attention to Bruce's plume than to his hatreds. Sir Walter tells a story lovingly. He invites us to sip it like wine and not gulp it down like bitter medicine.
TWELVE TYPES is a book to pull out of our pocket when the world grows too much with us. It is wise, consoling, provocative. It is over a hundred years old And don't we all wish that we could write something half so timely! -OOO-
A HEAVY READ, BUT NECESSARY Dec 19, 2003
This is one of Chesterton's smallest books, but boy is it packed with knowledge. If you are considering a career in literary criticism you would do well to purchase this book. At times, because Chesterton can be so deep, it is hard to follow. But there are good footnotes in the back of the book. Read it slowly, and savor every moment.