A personal remembrance of the author's thirty years' friendship with Belloc, that started in the 1920's, is successful as a...

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HILAIRE BELLOC

A personal remembrance of the author's thirty years' friendship with Belloc, that started in the 1920's, is successful as a warm and sympathetic recreation of Belloc's personality- as a prolific writer and thinker, as a humorist, as a Catholic and as a man with a deep sense of personal responsibility. The years before Morton came to know Belloc are filled in with knowledgeable reference to the combined factors of his background. Of mixed Irish, English and French heritage, Belloc could claim scientific detachment, a French wit, an English fund of humor. A natural skeptic, he soon developed a great intellectual vitality that enabled him to do several things at once, a pride unsullied by vanity and deep courtesy. Through the years of an acquaintance that saw growing friendship through talks and travels, Morton portrays Belloc as outwardly happy, a man who could turn every frustration into a jest; but his contention is that he was basically unhappy. Distressed by the turn of political and social events in England, Belloc suffered personal tragedies too. He was left a widower with five children; he had insomnia, and in later life the spells of loss of memory were a physical shock. Though the portrait is rewarding, one notes a lack in the ignoring of Belloc's Catholicism, but perhaps this was intended.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1955

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Sheed & Ward

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1955