Foreword by Rev. C. J. McCloskey, 160 pages, 6” x 9”, foreword, preface, bibliography, publication date: Feb. 2014
Schall, James V., S.J.
Hilaire Belloc was a man of many parts. Half English, half French, with an American wife, Belloc was a man who thought and traveled widely. He was the best essayist in the English language. His historical studies covered much of European history. He wrote a book on America, another on Paris, another on the Servile State. He sailed his boat The Nona around England and into the Island of Patmos. He walked to Rome and, with his four companions, through Sussex. While he did so, he thought, reflected, laughed, wondered. He was a born Catholic. He saw the depths of European civilization in its classical and Christian heritage, as well as in their being lost.
Bellow saw Islam as an abiding power. His books on walking are classic. He walked much of Europe, England, France, Italy, Spain, and North Africa. His insight into people was extraordinary. He wrote verses for children, poetry, studies of English kings and French cardinals. He was prolific. He had a son killed in World War I and another in World War II. He had many friends; his friendships with Chesterton and Baring were lasting and profound. When we “remember” Belloc, we remember much of what we are, much of what we ought to be. Belloc was something of a sad man, yet he laughed and sang and was in many ways irrepressible. Reading Belloc is both a delight and an education. He belonged to a tradition of letters that was never narrow but knew that to see something small, one had to see the whole picture, both human and divine. We remember Belloc to find out who we are and who we ought to be – men who sing and laugh and wonder about the mystery of things given to us.
Fr. James V. Schall teaches political philosophy at Georgetown University and a prolific essayist and author. Among his many works are the following from St. Augustine’s Press: The Regensburg Lecture, Sum Total of Human Happiness, The Modern Age, and The Classical Moment.
Rev. C. John McCloskey III is a Research Fellow of the Faith and Reason Center in Washington, D.C. He is the author of The Essential Belloc and of the well-known Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan.