Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc

Overview
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (hɨˈlɛər ˈbɛlək; ilɛʁ bɛlɔk; 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who became a naturalised British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

.
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Unanswered Questions
Quotations

Child! Do not throw this book about; Refrain from the unholy pleasure Of cutting all the pictures out! Preserve it as your chiefest treasure.

The Bad Child's Book of Beasts (1896) Dedication

What! Would you slap the Porcupine?Unhappy child — desist!Alas! That any friend of mineShould turn Tupto-philist.

More Beasts for Worse Children: The Porcupine

From quiet homes and first beginning, Out to the undiscovered ends, There's nothing worth the wear of winning, But laughter and the love of friends.

Verses (1910) "Dedicatory Ode"

It is sometimes necessary to lie damnably in the interests of the nation.

Letter to G.K. Chesterton (12 December 1917)

Whatever happens, we have got The Maxim gun, and they have not.

The Modern Traveller (1898)

I'm tired of Love; I'm still more tired of Rhyme. But money gives me pleasure all the time.

"Fatigued", Sonnets and Verse (1923)

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!

"The Catholic Sun"

Of courtesy it is much less Than courage of heart or holiness Yet in my walks it seems to me That the Grace of God is in courtesy.

"Courtesy"

Here richly, with ridiculous display, The Politician's corpse was laid away. While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.

"Epitaph on the Politician Himself"
Encyclopedia
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (hɨˈlɛər ˈbɛlək; ilɛʁ bɛlɔk; 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who became a naturalised British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 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.

His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tale
Cautionary tale
A cautionary tale is a tale told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger. There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale, though they can be introduced in a large variety of ways. First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the...

s and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion and Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death.

Recent biographies of Belloc have been written by A. N. Wilson
A. N. Wilson
Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views...

 and Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce is an English-born writer, and Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of...

.

Family and career



Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and an English mother, and grew up in England. Much of his boyhood was spent in Slindon
Slindon
Slindon is a small village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, nestling in woodlands on the southern edge of the South Downs. Slindon lies approximately seven miles north-east of Chichester...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, for which he often felt homesick in later life. This is evidenced in poems such as, "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill".

His mother Elizabeth Rayner Parkes (1829–1925) was also a writer, and a great-granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

. In 1867 she married attorney Louis Belloc, son of the French painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc was a French painter.-Life:He was a student in the studio of Antoine Gros then of Jean-Baptiste Regnault. He won a medal at the 1810 Paris Salon for his Death of Gaul, friend of Ossian.He was professor of drawing at the l'École-de-Médecine...

. In 1872, five years after they wed, Louis died, but not before being wiped out financially in a stock market crash. The young widow then brought her son Hilaire, along with his sister, Marie
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
Marie Adelaïde Lowndes, née Belloc , was a prolific English novelist.Active from 1904 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incident with psychological interest...

, back to England where he remained, except for his voluntary enlistment as a young man in the French artillery.

After being educated at John Henry Newman's Oratory School
The Oratory School
The Oratory School is a Roman Catholic, independent school for boys in Woodcote, Berkshire. It is the last Catholic all-boys boarding school remaining in Great Britain. It has approximately 420 pupils...

 in Edgbaston
Edgbaston
Edgbaston is an area in the city of Birmingham in England. It is also a formal district, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton....

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Belloc served his term of military service, as a French citizen, with an artillery regiment near Toul
Toul
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Toul is located between Commercy and Nancy, and situated between the Moselle River and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin....

 in 1891.
After his military service, Belloc proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, as a History scholar. He went on to obtain first class honours in History, and never lost his love for Balliol, as is illustrated by his verse, "Balliol made me, Balliol fed me/ Whatever I had she gave me again"s]]. In 1896, he married Elodie Hogan, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1906 he purchased land and a house called King's Land at Shipley
Shipley, West Sussex
Shipley is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the A272 road six miles north east of Storrington....

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 where he brought up his family and lived until shortly before his death. Elodie and Belloc had five children before her 1914 death from influenza. After her death, Belloc wore mourning for the remainder of his life, keeping her room exactly as she had left it.

His son Louis was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 in northern France. Belloc placed a memorial tablet in the Cathedral at nearby Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

. It is in the same side chapel as the noted icon, Our Lady of Cambrai.

Belloc suffered a stroke in 1941 and never recovered from its effects. He died on 16 July 1953 in Guildford, Surrey, following a fall he had at King's Land. He is buried at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation of West Grinstead
West Grinstead
West Grinstead is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the B2135 road four miles northwest from Henfield.It is within the ancient division of the Rape of Bramber...

, where he had regularly attended Mass as a parishioner.
At his funeral Mass, homilist Monsignor Ronald Knox
Ronald Knox
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English priest, theologian and writer.-Life:Ronald Knox was born in Kibworth, Leicestershire, England into an Anglican family and was educated at Eton College, where he took the first scholarship in 1900 and Balliol College, Oxford, where again...

 observed, "No man of his time fought so hard for the good things."
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (hɨˈlɛər ˈbɛlək; ilɛʁ bɛlɔk; 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who became a naturalised British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 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.

His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tale
Cautionary tale
A cautionary tale is a tale told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger. There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale, though they can be introduced in a large variety of ways. First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the...

s and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion and Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death.

Recent biographies of Belloc have been written by A. N. Wilson
A. N. Wilson
Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views...

 and Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce is an English-born writer, and Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of...

.

Family and career



Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and an English mother, and grew up in England. Much of his boyhood was spent in Slindon
Slindon
Slindon is a small village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, nestling in woodlands on the southern edge of the South Downs. Slindon lies approximately seven miles north-east of Chichester...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, for which he often felt homesick in later life. This is evidenced in poems such as, "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill".

His mother Elizabeth Rayner Parkes (1829–1925) was also a writer, and a great-granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

. In 1867 she married attorney Louis Belloc, son of the French painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc was a French painter.-Life:He was a student in the studio of Antoine Gros then of Jean-Baptiste Regnault. He won a medal at the 1810 Paris Salon for his Death of Gaul, friend of Ossian.He was professor of drawing at the l'École-de-Médecine...

. In 1872, five years after they wed, Louis died, but not before being wiped out financially in a stock market crash. The young widow then brought her son Hilaire, along with his sister, Marie
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
Marie Adelaïde Lowndes, née Belloc , was a prolific English novelist.Active from 1904 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incident with psychological interest...

, back to England where he remained, except for his voluntary enlistment as a young man in the French artillery.

After being educated at John Henry Newman's Oratory School
The Oratory School
The Oratory School is a Roman Catholic, independent school for boys in Woodcote, Berkshire. It is the last Catholic all-boys boarding school remaining in Great Britain. It has approximately 420 pupils...

 in Edgbaston
Edgbaston
Edgbaston is an area in the city of Birmingham in England. It is also a formal district, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton....

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Belloc served his term of military service, as a French citizen, with an artillery regiment near Toul
Toul
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Toul is located between Commercy and Nancy, and situated between the Moselle River and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin....

 in 1891.
After his military service, Belloc proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, as a History scholar. He went on to obtain first class honours in History, and never lost his love for Balliol, as is illustrated by his verse, "Balliol made me, Balliol fed me/ Whatever I had she gave me again"s]]. In 1896, he married Elodie Hogan, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1906 he purchased land and a house called King's Land at Shipley
Shipley, West Sussex
Shipley is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the A272 road six miles north east of Storrington....

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 where he brought up his family and lived until shortly before his death. Elodie and Belloc had five children before her 1914 death from influenza. After her death, Belloc wore mourning for the remainder of his life, keeping her room exactly as she had left it.

His son Louis was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 in northern France. Belloc placed a memorial tablet in the Cathedral at nearby Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

. It is in the same side chapel as the noted icon, Our Lady of Cambrai.

Belloc suffered a stroke in 1941 and never recovered from its effects. He died on 16 July 1953 in Guildford, Surrey, following a fall he had at King's Land. He is buried at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation of West Grinstead
West Grinstead
West Grinstead is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the B2135 road four miles northwest from Henfield.It is within the ancient division of the Rape of Bramber...

, where he had regularly attended Mass as a parishioner.
At his funeral Mass, homilist Monsignor Ronald Knox
Ronald Knox
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English priest, theologian and writer.-Life:Ronald Knox was born in Kibworth, Leicestershire, England into an Anglican family and was educated at Eton College, where he took the first scholarship in 1900 and Balliol College, Oxford, where again...

 observed, "No man of his time fought so hard for the good things."
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (hɨˈlɛər ˈbɛlək; ilɛʁ bɛlɔk; 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who became a naturalised British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 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.

His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tale
Cautionary tale
A cautionary tale is a tale told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger. There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale, though they can be introduced in a large variety of ways. First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the...

s and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion and Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death.

Recent biographies of Belloc have been written by A. N. Wilson
A. N. Wilson
Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views...

 and Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce is an English-born writer, and Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of...

.

Family and career



Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and an English mother, and grew up in England. Much of his boyhood was spent in Slindon
Slindon
Slindon is a small village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, nestling in woodlands on the southern edge of the South Downs. Slindon lies approximately seven miles north-east of Chichester...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, for which he often felt homesick in later life. This is evidenced in poems such as, "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill".

His mother Elizabeth Rayner Parkes (1829–1925) was also a writer, and a great-granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

. In 1867 she married attorney Louis Belloc, son of the French painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc was a French painter.-Life:He was a student in the studio of Antoine Gros then of Jean-Baptiste Regnault. He won a medal at the 1810 Paris Salon for his Death of Gaul, friend of Ossian.He was professor of drawing at the l'École-de-Médecine...

. In 1872, five years after they wed, Louis died, but not before being wiped out financially in a stock market crash. The young widow then brought her son Hilaire, along with his sister, Marie
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
Marie Adelaïde Lowndes, née Belloc , was a prolific English novelist.Active from 1904 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incident with psychological interest...

, back to England where he remained, except for his voluntary enlistment as a young man in the French artillery.

After being educated at John Henry Newman's Oratory School
The Oratory School
The Oratory School is a Roman Catholic, independent school for boys in Woodcote, Berkshire. It is the last Catholic all-boys boarding school remaining in Great Britain. It has approximately 420 pupils...

 in Edgbaston
Edgbaston
Edgbaston is an area in the city of Birmingham in England. It is also a formal district, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton....

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Belloc served his term of military service, as a French citizen, with an artillery regiment near Toul
Toul
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Toul is located between Commercy and Nancy, and situated between the Moselle River and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin....

 in 1891.
After his military service, Belloc proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, as a History scholar. He went on to obtain first class honours in History, and never lost his love for Balliol, as is illustrated by his verse, "Balliol made me, Balliol fed me/ Whatever I had she gave me again"s]]. In 1896, he married Elodie Hogan, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1906 he purchased land and a house called King's Land at Shipley
Shipley, West Sussex
Shipley is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the A272 road six miles north east of Storrington....

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 where he brought up his family and lived until shortly before his death. Elodie and Belloc had five children before her 1914 death from influenza. After her death, Belloc wore mourning for the remainder of his life, keeping her room exactly as she had left it.

His son Louis was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 in northern France. Belloc placed a memorial tablet in the Cathedral at nearby Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

. It is in the same side chapel as the noted icon, Our Lady of Cambrai.

Belloc suffered a stroke in 1941 and never recovered from its effects. He died on 16 July 1953 in Guildford, Surrey, following a fall he had at King's Land. He is buried at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation of West Grinstead
West Grinstead
West Grinstead is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the B2135 road four miles northwest from Henfield.It is within the ancient division of the Rape of Bramber...

, where he had regularly attended Mass as a parishioner.
At his funeral Mass, homilist Monsignor Ronald Knox
Ronald Knox
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English priest, theologian and writer.-Life:Ronald Knox was born in Kibworth, Leicestershire, England into an Anglican family and was educated at Eton College, where he took the first scholarship in 1900 and Balliol College, Oxford, where again...

 observed, "No man of his time fought so hard for the good things."
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (hɨˈlɛər ˈbɛlək; ilɛʁ bɛlɔk; 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who became a naturalised British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 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.

His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tale
Cautionary tale
A cautionary tale is a tale told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger. There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale, though they can be introduced in a large variety of ways. First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the...

s and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion and Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death.

Recent biographies of Belloc have been written by A. N. Wilson
A. N. Wilson
Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views...

 and Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce is an English-born writer, and Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of...

.

Family and career



Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and an English mother, and grew up in England. Much of his boyhood was spent in Slindon
Slindon
Slindon is a small village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, nestling in woodlands on the southern edge of the South Downs. Slindon lies approximately seven miles north-east of Chichester...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, for which he often felt homesick in later life. This is evidenced in poems such as, "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill".

His mother Elizabeth Rayner Parkes (1829–1925) was also a writer, and a great-granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

. In 1867 she married attorney Louis Belloc, son of the French painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc was a French painter.-Life:He was a student in the studio of Antoine Gros then of Jean-Baptiste Regnault. He won a medal at the 1810 Paris Salon for his Death of Gaul, friend of Ossian.He was professor of drawing at the l'École-de-Médecine...

. In 1872, five years after they wed, Louis died, but not before being wiped out financially in a stock market crash. The young widow then brought her son Hilaire, along with his sister, Marie
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
Marie Adelaïde Lowndes, née Belloc , was a prolific English novelist.Active from 1904 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incident with psychological interest...

, back to England where he remained, except for his voluntary enlistment as a young man in the French artillery.

After being educated at John Henry Newman's Oratory School
The Oratory School
The Oratory School is a Roman Catholic, independent school for boys in Woodcote, Berkshire. It is the last Catholic all-boys boarding school remaining in Great Britain. It has approximately 420 pupils...

 in Edgbaston
Edgbaston
Edgbaston is an area in the city of Birmingham in England. It is also a formal district, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton....

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Belloc served his term of military service, as a French citizen, with an artillery regiment near Toul
Toul
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Toul is located between Commercy and Nancy, and situated between the Moselle River and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin....

 in 1891.
After his military service, Belloc proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, as a History scholar. He went on to obtain first class honours in History, and never lost his love for Balliol, as is illustrated by his verse, "Balliol made me, Balliol fed me/ Whatever I had she gave me again"s]]. In 1896, he married Elodie Hogan, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1906 he purchased land and a house called King's Land at Shipley
Shipley, West Sussex
Shipley is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the A272 road six miles north east of Storrington....

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 where he brought up his family and lived until shortly before his death. Elodie and Belloc had five children before her 1914 death from influenza. After her death, Belloc wore mourning for the remainder of his life, keeping her room exactly as she had left it.

His son Louis was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 in northern France. Belloc placed a memorial tablet in the Cathedral at nearby Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

. It is in the same side chapel as the noted icon, Our Lady of Cambrai.

Belloc suffered a stroke in 1941 and never recovered from its effects. He died on 16 July 1953 in Guildford, Surrey, following a fall he had at King's Land. He is buried at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation of West Grinstead
West Grinstead
West Grinstead is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the B2135 road four miles northwest from Henfield.It is within the ancient division of the Rape of Bramber...

, where he had regularly attended Mass as a parishioner.
At his funeral Mass, homilist Monsignor Ronald Knox
Ronald Knox
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English priest, theologian and writer.-Life:Ronald Knox was born in Kibworth, Leicestershire, England into an Anglican family and was educated at Eton College, where he took the first scholarship in 1900 and Balliol College, Oxford, where again...

 observed, "No man of his time fought so hard for the good things."
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (hɨˈlɛər ˈbɛlək; ilɛʁ bɛlɔk; 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who became a naturalised British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 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.

His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tale
Cautionary tale
A cautionary tale is a tale told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger. There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale, though they can be introduced in a large variety of ways. First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the...

s and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion and Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death.

Recent biographies of Belloc have been written by A. N. Wilson
A. N. Wilson
Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views...

 and Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce is an English-born writer, and Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of...

.

Family and career



Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and an English mother, and grew up in England. Much of his boyhood was spent in Slindon
Slindon
Slindon is a small village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, nestling in woodlands on the southern edge of the South Downs. Slindon lies approximately seven miles north-east of Chichester...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, for which he often felt homesick in later life. This is evidenced in poems such as, "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill".

His mother Elizabeth Rayner Parkes (1829–1925) was also a writer, and a great-granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

. In 1867 she married attorney Louis Belloc, son of the French painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc was a French painter.-Life:He was a student in the studio of Antoine Gros then of Jean-Baptiste Regnault. He won a medal at the 1810 Paris Salon for his Death of Gaul, friend of Ossian.He was professor of drawing at the l'École-de-Médecine...

. In 1872, five years after they wed, Louis died, but not before being wiped out financially in a stock market crash. The young widow then brought her son Hilaire, along with his sister, Marie
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
Marie Adelaïde Lowndes, née Belloc , was a prolific English novelist.Active from 1904 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incident with psychological interest...

, back to England where he remained, except for his voluntary enlistment as a young man in the French artillery.

After being educated at John Henry Newman's Oratory School
The Oratory School
The Oratory School is a Roman Catholic, independent school for boys in Woodcote, Berkshire. It is the last Catholic all-boys boarding school remaining in Great Britain. It has approximately 420 pupils...

 in Edgbaston
Edgbaston
Edgbaston is an area in the city of Birmingham in England. It is also a formal district, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton....

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Belloc served his term of military service, as a French citizen, with an artillery regiment near Toul
Toul
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Toul is located between Commercy and Nancy, and situated between the Moselle River and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin....

 in 1891.
After his military service, Belloc proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, as a History scholar. He went on to obtain first class honours in History, and never lost his love for Balliol, as is illustrated by his verse, "Balliol made me, Balliol fed me/ Whatever I had she gave me again"s]]. In 1896, he married Elodie Hogan, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1906 he purchased land and a house called King's Land at Shipley
Shipley, West Sussex
Shipley is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the A272 road six miles north east of Storrington....

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 where he brought up his family and lived until shortly before his death. Elodie and Belloc had five children before her 1914 death from influenza. After her death, Belloc wore mourning for the remainder of his life, keeping her room exactly as she had left it.

His son Louis was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 in northern France. Belloc placed a memorial tablet in the Cathedral at nearby Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

. It is in the same side chapel as the noted icon, Our Lady of Cambrai.

Belloc suffered a stroke in 1941 and never recovered from its effects. He died on 16 July 1953 in Guildford, Surrey, following a fall he had at King's Land. He is buried at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation of West Grinstead
West Grinstead
West Grinstead is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the B2135 road four miles northwest from Henfield.It is within the ancient division of the Rape of Bramber...

, where he had regularly attended Mass as a parishioner.
At his funeral Mass, homilist Monsignor Ronald Knox
Ronald Knox
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English priest, theologian and writer.-Life:Ronald Knox was born in Kibworth, Leicestershire, England into an Anglican family and was educated at Eton College, where he took the first scholarship in 1900 and Balliol College, Oxford, where again...

 observed, "No man of his time fought so hard for the good things."
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (hɨˈlɛər ˈbɛlək; ilɛʁ bɛlɔk; 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who became a naturalised British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 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.

His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tale
Cautionary tale
A cautionary tale is a tale told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger. There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale, though they can be introduced in a large variety of ways. First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the...

s and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion and Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death.

Recent biographies of Belloc have been written by A. N. Wilson
A. N. Wilson
Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views...

 and Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce is an English-born writer, and Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of...

.

Family and career



Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and an English mother, and grew up in England. Much of his boyhood was spent in Slindon
Slindon
Slindon is a small village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, nestling in woodlands on the southern edge of the South Downs. Slindon lies approximately seven miles north-east of Chichester...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, for which he often felt homesick in later life. This is evidenced in poems such as, "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill".

His mother Elizabeth Rayner Parkes (1829–1925) was also a writer, and a great-granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

. In 1867 she married attorney Louis Belloc, son of the French painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc was a French painter.-Life:He was a student in the studio of Antoine Gros then of Jean-Baptiste Regnault. He won a medal at the 1810 Paris Salon for his Death of Gaul, friend of Ossian.He was professor of drawing at the l'École-de-Médecine...

. In 1872, five years after they wed, Louis died, but not before being wiped out financially in a stock market crash. The young widow then brought her son Hilaire, along with his sister, Marie
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
Marie Adelaïde Lowndes, née Belloc , was a prolific English novelist.Active from 1904 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incident with psychological interest...

, back to England where he remained, except for his voluntary enlistment as a young man in the French artillery.

After being educated at John Henry Newman's Oratory School
The Oratory School
The Oratory School is a Roman Catholic, independent school for boys in Woodcote, Berkshire. It is the last Catholic all-boys boarding school remaining in Great Britain. It has approximately 420 pupils...

 in Edgbaston
Edgbaston
Edgbaston is an area in the city of Birmingham in England. It is also a formal district, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton....

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Belloc served his term of military service, as a French citizen, with an artillery regiment near Toul
Toul
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Toul is located between Commercy and Nancy, and situated between the Moselle River and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin....

 in 1891.
After his military service, Belloc proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, as a History scholar. He went on to obtain first class honours in History, and never lost his love for Balliol, as is illustrated by his verse, "Balliol made me, Balliol fed me/ Whatever I had she gave me again"s]]. In 1896, he married Elodie Hogan, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1906 he purchased land and a house called King's Land at Shipley
Shipley, West Sussex
Shipley is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the A272 road six miles north east of Storrington....

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 where he brought up his family and lived until shortly before his death. Elodie and Belloc had five children before her 1914 death from influenza. After her death, Belloc wore mourning for the remainder of his life, keeping her room exactly as she had left it.

His son Louis was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 in northern France. Belloc placed a memorial tablet in the Cathedral at nearby Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

. It is in the same side chapel as the noted icon, Our Lady of Cambrai.

Belloc suffered a stroke in 1941 and never recovered from its effects. He died on 16 July 1953 in Guildford, Surrey, following a fall he had at King's Land. He is buried at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation of West Grinstead
West Grinstead
West Grinstead is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the B2135 road four miles northwest from Henfield.It is within the ancient division of the Rape of Bramber...

, where he had regularly attended Mass as a parishioner.
At his funeral Mass, homilist Monsignor Ronald Knox
Ronald Knox
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English priest, theologian and writer.-Life:Ronald Knox was born in Kibworth, Leicestershire, England into an Anglican family and was educated at Eton College, where he took the first scholarship in 1900 and Balliol College, Oxford, where again...

 observed, "No man of his time fought so hard for the good things."
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (hɨˈlɛər ˈbɛlək; ilɛʁ bɛlɔk; 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who became a naturalised British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 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.

His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tale
Cautionary tale
A cautionary tale is a tale told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger. There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale, though they can be introduced in a large variety of ways. First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the...

s and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion and Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death.

Recent biographies of Belloc have been written by A. N. Wilson
A. N. Wilson
Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views...

 and Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce is an English-born writer, and Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of...

.

Family and career



Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and an English mother, and grew up in England. Much of his boyhood was spent in Slindon
Slindon
Slindon is a small village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, nestling in woodlands on the southern edge of the South Downs. Slindon lies approximately seven miles north-east of Chichester...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, for which he often felt homesick in later life. This is evidenced in poems such as, "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill".

His mother Elizabeth Rayner Parkes (1829–1925) was also a writer, and a great-granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

. In 1867 she married attorney Louis Belloc, son of the French painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc was a French painter.-Life:He was a student in the studio of Antoine Gros then of Jean-Baptiste Regnault. He won a medal at the 1810 Paris Salon for his Death of Gaul, friend of Ossian.He was professor of drawing at the l'École-de-Médecine...

. In 1872, five years after they wed, Louis died, but not before being wiped out financially in a stock market crash. The young widow then brought her son Hilaire, along with his sister, Marie
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
Marie Adelaïde Lowndes, née Belloc , was a prolific English novelist.Active from 1904 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incident with psychological interest...

, back to England where he remained, except for his voluntary enlistment as a young man in the French artillery.

After being educated at John Henry Newman's Oratory School
The Oratory School
The Oratory School is a Roman Catholic, independent school for boys in Woodcote, Berkshire. It is the last Catholic all-boys boarding school remaining in Great Britain. It has approximately 420 pupils...

 in Edgbaston
Edgbaston
Edgbaston is an area in the city of Birmingham in England. It is also a formal district, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton....

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Belloc served his term of military service, as a French citizen, with an artillery regiment near Toul
Toul
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Toul is located between Commercy and Nancy, and situated between the Moselle River and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin....

 in 1891.
After his military service, Belloc proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, as a History scholar. He went on to obtain first class honours in History, and never lost his love for Balliol, as is illustrated by his verse, "Balliol made me, Balliol fed me/ Whatever I had she gave me again"s]]. In 1896, he married Elodie Hogan, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1906 he purchased land and a house called King's Land at Shipley
Shipley, West Sussex
Shipley is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the A272 road six miles north east of Storrington....

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 where he brought up his family and lived until shortly before his death. Elodie and Belloc had five children before her 1914 death from influenza. After her death, Belloc wore mourning for the remainder of his life, keeping her room exactly as she had left it.

His son Louis was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 in northern France. Belloc placed a memorial tablet in the Cathedral at nearby Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

. It is in the same side chapel as the noted icon, Our Lady of Cambrai.

Belloc suffered a stroke in 1941 and never recovered from its effects. He died on 16 July 1953 in Guildford, Surrey, following a fall he had at King's Land. He is buried at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation of West Grinstead
West Grinstead
West Grinstead is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the B2135 road four miles northwest from Henfield.It is within the ancient division of the Rape of Bramber...

, where he had regularly attended Mass as a parishioner.
At his funeral Mass, homilist Monsignor Ronald Knox
Ronald Knox
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English priest, theologian and writer.-Life:Ronald Knox was born in Kibworth, Leicestershire, England into an Anglican family and was educated at Eton College, where he took the first scholarship in 1900 and Balliol College, Oxford, where again...

 observed, "No man of his time fought so hard for the good things."
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (hɨˈlɛər ˈbɛlək; ilɛʁ bɛlɔk; 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who became a naturalised British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 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.

His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tale
Cautionary tale
A cautionary tale is a tale told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger. There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale, though they can be introduced in a large variety of ways. First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the...

s and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion and Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death.

Recent biographies of Belloc have been written by A. N. Wilson
A. N. Wilson
Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views...

 and Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce is an English-born writer, and Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of...

.

Family and career



Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and an English mother, and grew up in England. Much of his boyhood was spent in Slindon
Slindon
Slindon is a small village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, nestling in woodlands on the southern edge of the South Downs. Slindon lies approximately seven miles north-east of Chichester...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, for which he often felt homesick in later life. This is evidenced in poems such as, "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill".

His mother Elizabeth Rayner Parkes (1829–1925) was also a writer, and a great-granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

. In 1867 she married attorney Louis Belloc, son of the French painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc was a French painter.-Life:He was a student in the studio of Antoine Gros then of Jean-Baptiste Regnault. He won a medal at the 1810 Paris Salon for his Death of Gaul, friend of Ossian.He was professor of drawing at the l'École-de-Médecine...

. In 1872, five years after they wed, Louis died, but not before being wiped out financially in a stock market crash. The young widow then brought her son Hilaire, along with his sister, Marie
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
Marie Adelaïde Lowndes, née Belloc , was a prolific English novelist.Active from 1904 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incident with psychological interest...

, back to England where he remained, except for his voluntary enlistment as a young man in the French artillery.

After being educated at John Henry Newman's Oratory School
The Oratory School
The Oratory School is a Roman Catholic, independent school for boys in Woodcote, Berkshire. It is the last Catholic all-boys boarding school remaining in Great Britain. It has approximately 420 pupils...

 in Edgbaston
Edgbaston
Edgbaston is an area in the city of Birmingham in England. It is also a formal district, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton....

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Belloc served his term of military service, as a French citizen, with an artillery regiment near Toul
Toul
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Toul is located between Commercy and Nancy, and situated between the Moselle River and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin....

 in 1891.
After his military service, Belloc proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, as a History scholar. He went on to obtain first class honours in History, and never lost his love for Balliol, as is illustrated by his verse, "Balliol made me, Balliol fed me/ Whatever I had she gave me again"s]]. In 1896, he married Elodie Hogan, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1906 he purchased land and a house called King's Land at Shipley
Shipley, West Sussex
Shipley is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the A272 road six miles north east of Storrington....

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 where he brought up his family and lived until shortly before his death. Elodie and Belloc had five children before her 1914 death from influenza. After her death, Belloc wore mourning for the remainder of his life, keeping her room exactly as she had left it.

His son Louis was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 in northern France. Belloc placed a memorial tablet in the Cathedral at nearby Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

. It is in the same side chapel as the noted icon, Our Lady of Cambrai.

Belloc suffered a stroke in 1941 and never recovered from its effects. He died on 16 July 1953 in Guildford, Surrey, following a fall he had at King's Land. He is buried at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation of West Grinstead
West Grinstead
West Grinstead is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the B2135 road four miles northwest from Henfield.It is within the ancient division of the Rape of Bramber...

, where he had regularly attended Mass as a parishioner.
At his funeral Mass, homilist Monsignor Ronald Knox
Ronald Knox
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English priest, theologian and writer.-Life:Ronald Knox was born in Kibworth, Leicestershire, England into an Anglican family and was educated at Eton College, where he took the first scholarship in 1900 and Balliol College, Oxford, where again...

 observed, "No man of his time fought so hard for the good things."
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (hɨˈlɛər ˈbɛlək; ilɛʁ bɛlɔk; 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who became a naturalised British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 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.

His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tale
Cautionary tale
A cautionary tale is a tale told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger. There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale, though they can be introduced in a large variety of ways. First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the...

s and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion and Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death.

Recent biographies of Belloc have been written by A. N. Wilson
A. N. Wilson
Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views...

 and Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce is an English-born writer, and Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of...

.

Family and career



Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and an English mother, and grew up in England. Much of his boyhood was spent in Slindon
Slindon
Slindon is a small village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, nestling in woodlands on the southern edge of the South Downs. Slindon lies approximately seven miles north-east of Chichester...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, for which he often felt homesick in later life. This is evidenced in poems such as, "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill".

His mother Elizabeth Rayner Parkes (1829–1925) was also a writer, and a great-granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

. In 1867 she married attorney Louis Belloc, son of the French painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc
Jean-Hilaire Belloc was a French painter.-Life:He was a student in the studio of Antoine Gros then of Jean-Baptiste Regnault. He won a medal at the 1810 Paris Salon for his Death of Gaul, friend of Ossian.He was professor of drawing at the l'École-de-Médecine...

. In 1872, five years after they wed, Louis died, but not before being wiped out financially in a stock market crash. The young widow then brought her son Hilaire, along with his sister, Marie
Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes
Marie Adelaïde Lowndes, née Belloc , was a prolific English novelist.Active from 1904 until her death, she had a literary reputation for combining exciting incident with psychological interest...

, back to England where he remained, except for his voluntary enlistment as a young man in the French artillery.

After being educated at John Henry Newman's Oratory School
The Oratory School
The Oratory School is a Roman Catholic, independent school for boys in Woodcote, Berkshire. It is the last Catholic all-boys boarding school remaining in Great Britain. It has approximately 420 pupils...

 in Edgbaston
Edgbaston
Edgbaston is an area in the city of Birmingham in England. It is also a formal district, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton....

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Belloc served his term of military service, as a French citizen, with an artillery regiment near Toul
Toul
Toul is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Toul is located between Commercy and Nancy, and situated between the Moselle River and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin....

 in 1891.
After his military service, Belloc proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, as a History scholar. He went on to obtain first class honours in History, and never lost his love for Balliol, as is illustrated by his verse, "Balliol made me, Balliol fed me/ Whatever I had she gave me again"s]]. In 1896, he married Elodie Hogan, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 1906 he purchased land and a house called King's Land at Shipley
Shipley, West Sussex
Shipley is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the A272 road six miles north east of Storrington....

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 where he brought up his family and lived until shortly before his death. Elodie and Belloc had five children before her 1914 death from influenza. After her death, Belloc wore mourning for the remainder of his life, keeping her room exactly as she had left it.

His son Louis was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. During the early part of the war, the RFC's responsibilities were centred on support of the British Army, via artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance...

 in northern France. Belloc placed a memorial tablet in the Cathedral at nearby Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

. It is in the same side chapel as the noted icon, Our Lady of Cambrai.

Belloc suffered a stroke in 1941 and never recovered from its effects. He died on 16 July 1953 in Guildford, Surrey, following a fall he had at King's Land. He is buried at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation of West Grinstead
West Grinstead
West Grinstead is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies just off the B2135 road four miles northwest from Henfield.It is within the ancient division of the Rape of Bramber...

, where he had regularly attended Mass as a parishioner.
At his funeral Mass, homilist Monsignor Ronald Knox
Ronald Knox
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English priest, theologian and writer.-Life:Ronald Knox was born in Kibworth, Leicestershire, England into an Anglican family and was educated at Eton College, where he took the first scholarship in 1900 and Balliol College, Oxford, where again...

 observed, "No man of his time fought so hard for the good things."


Image:Belloc_Churchyard.JPG|Buried here
Image:Belloc Grave.jpg|Family Plot

Image:Belloc Typo.jpg|Typo on inscription
Image:Belloc Plaque.jpg|Plaque commemorating his parish service

Church website http://www.consolation.org.uk/index.html

Political career


An 1895 graduate of Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, Belloc was a noted figure within the University, being President of the Oxford Union, the undergraduate debating society. He went into politics after he became a naturalised British subject. A great disappointment in his life was his failure to gain a fellow
Fellow
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded...

ship at All Souls College in Oxford in 1895. This failure may have been caused in part by his producing a small statue of the Virgin and placing it before him on the table during the interview for the fellowship.

From 1906 to 1910 he was a Liberal Party
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Salford South
Salford South (UK Parliament constituency)
Salford South was a parliamentary constituency in the City of Salford in Greater Manchester from 1885 until 1950. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- History :...

, but swiftly became disillusioned with party politics. During one campaign speech he was asked by a heckler if he was a "papist." Retrieving his rosary from his pocket he responded, "Sir, so far as possible I hear Mass each day and I go to my knees and tell these beads each night. If that offends you, then I pray God may spare me the indignity of representing you in Parliament." The crowd cheered and Belloc won the election.

His only period of steady employment was from 1914 to 1920 as editor of Land and Water
Land and Water
Land and Water was a British weekly journal published from 1914 to 1920, edited by the well-known Catholic writer Hillaire Belloc and devoted to the progress of the First World War and the events in its immediate aftermath...

, a journal devoted to the progress of the war. Otherwise he lived by his pen, and often fell short of money.

In controversy and debate


Belloc first came to public attention shortly after arriving at Balliol College, Oxford as a recent French army veteran. Attending his first debate of the Oxford Union
Oxford Union
The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a debating society in the city of Oxford, Britain, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford...

 Debating Society, he saw that the affirmative position was wretchedly and half-heartedly defended. As the debate drew to its conclusion and the division of the house was called, he rose from his seat in the audience, and delivered a vigorous, impromptu defense of the proposition. Belloc won that debate from the audience, as the division of the house then showed, and his reputation as a debater was established. He was later elected president of the Union. He held his own in debates there with F. E. Smith and John Buchan, the latter a friend.

He was at his most effective in the 1920s, on the attack against H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

's Outline of History, in which he criticized Wells' secular bias and his belief in evolution by means of natural selection, a theory that Belloc asserted had been completely discredited. Wells remarked that "Debating Mr. Belloc is like arguing with a hailstorm". Belloc's review of Outline of History famously observed that Wells' book was a powerful and well-written volume, "up until the appearance of Man, that is, somewhere around page seven." Wells responded with a small book, Mr. Belloc Objects. Not to be outdone, Belloc followed with, "Mr. Belloc Still Objects."

G. G. Coulton
G. G. Coulton
George Gordon Coulton FBA was a British historian, known for numerous works on medieval history. He was known also as a keen controversialist....

, a keen and persistent academic opponent, wrote on Mr. Belloc on Medieval History in a 1920 article. After a long simmering feud, Belloc replied with a booklet, The Case of Dr. Coulton, in 1938.

His style during later life fulfilled the nickname he received in childhood, Old Thunder. Belloc's friend, Lord Sheffield, described his provocative personality in a preface to The Cruise of the Nona.

In Belloc's novel of travel, The Four Men, the title characters supposedly represent different facets of the author's personality. One of the four improvises a playful song at Christmastime, which includes the verse:
'May all good fellows that here agree
Drink Audit Ale in heaven with me,
And may all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!
May all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel!'

The other characters regard the verse as fairly gauche and ill-conceived, so while part of Belloc may have agreed with this song, it is not necessarily representative of Belloc's personality as a whole.

Hobbies


During his later years, he would sail when he could afford to do so. He became a well known yachtsman. He won many races and was in the French sailing team. In the early 1930s, he was given an old Jersey pilot cutter called Jersey. He sailed this for some years around the coasts of England, with the help of younger men. One of them, Dermod MacCarthy, wrote a book about his time on the water with Belloc, called Sailing with Mr Belloc.

Writing


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
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

, and G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

, all of whom debated with each other into the 1930s. Belloc was closely associated with Chesterton, and Shaw coined the term Chesterbelloc for their partnership.

Asked once why he wrote so much, he responded, "Because my children are howling for pearls and caviar." Belloc observed that "The first job of letters is to get a canon," that is, to identify those works which a writer looks upon as exemplary of the best of prose and verse. For his own prose style, he claimed to aspire to be as clear and concise as "Mary had a little lamb."

Essays and travel writing


His best travel writing has secured a permanent following. The Path to Rome (1902), an account of a walking pilgrimage he made from central France across the Alps and down to Rome, has remained continuously in print. More than a mere travelogue, "The Path to Rome" contains descriptions of the people and places he encountered, his drawings in pencil and in ink of the route, humor, poesy, and the reflections of a large mind turned to the events of his time as he marches along his solitary way. At every turn, Belloc shows himself to be profoundly in love with Europe and with the Faith that he claims has produced it.

As an essayist he was one of a small, admired and dominant group (with Chesterton, E. V. Lucas
E. V. Lucas
Edward Verrall Lucas was a versatile and popular English writer. His nearly 100 books demonstrate great facility with style, and are generally acknowledged as humorous by contemporary readers and critics. Some of his essays about the sport cricket are still considered among the best instructional...

 and Robert Lynd
Robert Wilson Lynd
Robert Wilson Lynd was an Irish writer, an urbane literary essayist and strong Irish nationalist.-Life and career:He was born in Belfast and educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institution, studying at Queen's University...

) of popular writers.

There is a passage in The Cruise of the Nona where Belloc, sitting alone at the helm of his boat under the stars, shows profoundly his mind in the matter of Catholicism and mankind; he writes of "That golden Light cast over the earth by the beating of the Wings of the Faith."

Poetry



His Cautionary Tales for Children
Cautionary Tales for Children
Cautionary Tales for Children: Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages of eight and fourteen years is a 1907 children's book written by Hilaire Belloc...

; humorous poems with an implausible moral, beautifully illustrated by Basil Temple Blackwood
Basil Temple Blackwood
Ian Basil Gawaine Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood styled Lord Basil Temple Blackwood, was a British lawyer, civil servant and book illustrator.-Early life:...

 (signing as "B.T.B.") and later by Edward Gorey
Edward Gorey
Edward St. John Gorey was an American writer and artist noted for his macabre illustrated books.-Early life:...

, are the most widely known of his writings. Supposedly for children, they, like Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll , was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the...

's works, are more to adult and satirical tastes: Henry King, Who chewed bits of string and was early cut off in dreadful agonies. A similar poem tells the story of Rebecca, who slammed doors for fun and perished miserably.

The tale of Matilda who told lies and was burnt to death was adapted into the play Matilda Liar! by Debbie Isitt
Debbie Isitt
Debbie Isitt; born 7 February 1966 in Birmingham, UK; is a comic writer, film director and performer.Isitt set up the theatre company 'Snarling Beasties' in the 1980s...

. Quentin Blake
Quentin Blake
Quentin Saxby Blake, CBE, FCSD, RDI, is an English cartoonist, illustrator and children's author, well-known for his collaborations with writer Roald Dahl.-Education:...

, the illustrator, described Belloc as at one and the same time the overbearing adult and mischievous child. Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, fighter pilot and screenwriter.Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, he served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence agent, rising to the rank of Wing Commander...

 was a follower. But Belloc has broader if sourer scope:
It happened to Lord Lundy then
as happens to so many men
about the age of 26
they shoved him into politics ...


leading up to
we had intended you to be
the next Prime Minister but three ...


Of more weight are Belloc's Sonnets and Verses, a volume that deploys the same singing and rhyming techniques of his children's verses. Belloc's poetry is often religious, often romantic; throughout The Path to Rome he writes in spontaneous song.

History, politics, economics


Three of his best-known non-fiction works are The Servile State
The Servile State
The Servile State is a book written by Hilaire Belloc in 1912 about economics. Although it mentions Distributism, for which he and his friend G. K...

(1912), Europe and Faith (1920) and The Jews (1922).

From an early age Belloc knew Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, who was responsible for the conversion of his mother to Roman Catholicism. Manning's involvement in the 1889 London Dock Strike
London Dock Strike of 1889
The London Dock Strike was an industrial dispute involving dock workers in the Port of London. It broke out on 14 August 1889, and resulted in a victory for the strikers and established strong trade unions amongst London dockers, one of which became the nationally important Dock, Wharf, Riverside...

 made a major impression on Belloc and his view of politics, according to biographer Robert Speaight
Robert Speaight
Robert Speaight was a British actor and writer, and the brother of George Speaight the puppeteer.He was an early performer in radio plays. He came to prominence as Becket in the first production of T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral. He went on to Shakespearean roles, and to direct.He also...

. Belloc described this retrospectively in The Cruise of the Nona (1925); he became a trenchant critic both of unbridled capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, and of many aspects of socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

.

With others (G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

, Cecil Chesterton
Cecil Chesterton
Cecil Edward Chesterton was an English journalist and political commentator, known particularly for his role as editor of The New Witness from 1912 to 1916, and in relation to its coverage of the Marconi scandal....

, Arthur Penty
Arthur Penty
Arthur Joseph Penty was a British architect, and writer on Guild socialism and distributism. He was first a Fabian socialist, and follower of Victorian thinkers William Morris and John Ruskin...

) Belloc had envisioned the socioeconomic system of distributism
Distributism
Distributism is a third-way economic philosophy formulated by such Catholic thinkers as G. K...

. In The Servile State, written after his party-political career had come to end, and other works, he criticized the modern economic order and parliamentary system, advocating distributism in opposition to both capitalism and socialism. Belloc made the historical argument that distributism was not a fresh perspective or program of economics but rather a proposed return to the economics that prevailed in Europe for the thousand years when it was Catholic. He called for the dissolution of Parliament and its replacement with committees of representatives for the various sectors of society, an idea popular among Fascists under the name of corporatism
Corporatism
Corporatism, also known as corporativism, is a system of economic, political, or social organization that involves association of the people of society into corporate groups, such as agricultural, business, ethnic, labor, military, patronage, or scientific affiliations, on the basis of common...

. Original corporatism, sometimes called "paleo-corporatism", was a system that predates capitalism and fascism. Paleo-corporatism was based around the guilds of the Middle Ages and served to appoint legislators. Neo-corporatism is a fascist system that merges the state with the capitalistic corporations and the corporations then are directed by the state, under nominal private ownership. Belloc's views fit medieval paleo-corporatism rather than neo-corporatist fascism.

With these linked themes in the background, he wrote a long series of contentious biographies of historical figures, including Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

, James II
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

, and Napoleon. They show him as an ardent proponent of orthodox Catholicism and a critic of many elements of the modern world.

Outside academe, Belloc was impatient with what he considered to be axe-grinding histories, especially what he called "official history." Joseph Pearce notes also Belloc's attack on the secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 of H.G. Wells's popular Outline of History:

Belloc objected to his adversary's tacitly anti-Christian stance, epitomized by the fact that Wells had devoted more space in his "history" to the Persian campaign against the Greeks than he had given to the figure of Christ.


He wrote also substantial amounts of military history. In alternative history
Alternate history (fiction)
Alternate history or alternative history is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. It can be variously seen as a sub-genre of literary fiction, science fiction, and historical fiction; different alternate...

, he contributed to the 1931 collection If It Had Happened Otherwise
If It Had Happened Otherwise
If It Had Happened Otherwise is a 1931 collection of essays edited by J. C. Squire and published by Longmans, Green. Each essay in the collection could be considered alternate history or counterfactual history, a few written by leading historians of the period and one by Winston...

edited by Sir John Squire.

Reprints


Ignatius Press
Ignatius Press
Ignatius Press, named for Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order, is a Catholic publishing house based in San Francisco, California, USA. It was founded in 1978 by Father Joseph Fessio SJ, a Jesuit priest and former pupil of Pope Benedict XVI...

 of California and IHS Press
IHS Press
IHS Press is a publishing house based in Virginia whose mission is to promote the social teaching of the Catholic Church. The name "IHS" is a truncation of the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus Christ. IHS Press has been particularly concerned with the promotion of the social teaching...

 of Virginia have been reissuing Belloc. TAN Books of Charlotte, NC publishes a number of Belloc's works, particularly his historical writings.

Religion


One of Belloc's most famous statements was "the faith is Europe and Europe is the faith"; this sums up his strongly held, orthodox Catholic views, and the cultural conclusions he drew from them. Those views were expressed at length in many of his works from the period 1920–1940. These are still cited as exemplary of Catholic apologetics
Apologetics
Apologetics is the discipline of defending a position through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers...

. They have also been criticised, for instance by comparison with the work of Christopher Dawson
Christopher Dawson
Christopher Henry Dawson was a British independent scholar, who wrote many books on cultural history and Christendom. Christopher H. Dawson has been called "the greatest English-speaking Catholic historian of the twentieth century".-Life:...

 during the same period.

As a young man, Belloc lost his faith. Then came a spiritual event which he never discussed publicly, and which returned him to and confirmed him in his Catholicism for the remainder of his life. Belloc alludes to this return to the faith in a passage in The Cruise of the Nona. According to his biographer A.N. Wilson (Hilaire Belloc, Hamish Hamilton), Belloc never wholly apostatized from the Faith (ibid p. 105). The momentous event is fully described by Belloc in The Path to Rome (pp. 158–161). It took place in the French village of Undervelier at the time of Vespers. Belloc said of it, "not without tears", "I considered the nature of Belief" and "it is a good thing not to have to return to the faith". (See Hilaire Belloc by Wilson at pp. 105–106.)

Belloc's Catholicism was uncompromising. He believed that the Catholic Church provided hearth and home for the human spirit. More humorously, his tribute to Catholic culture can be understood from his well-known saying, "Wherever the Catholic sun does shine, there's always laughter and good red wine." He had a disparaging view of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, and used sharp words to describe heretics, such as, "Heretics all, whoever you may be/ In Tarbes or Nimes or over the sea/ You never shall have good words from me/ Caritas non conturbat me". Indeed, in his "Song of the Pelagian Heresy" he becomes quite strident, describing how the Bishop of Auxerre
Auxerre
Auxerre is a commune in the Bourgogne region in north-central France, between Paris and Dijon. It is the capital of the Yonne department.Auxerre's population today is about 45,000...

, "with his stout Episcopal staff/ So thoroughly thwacked and banged/ The heretics all, both short and tall/ They rather had been hanged".

On Islam


Belloc's 1937 book The Crusades: the World's Debate, he wrote,
Since the Crusaders missed that chance, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 survived and eventually overwhelmed the Crusader bridgehead in the Middle East. For Belloc this was not a matter of old history: Islam continued to pose a threat. He wrote,
In The Great Heresies (1938), Belloc argues that, although, "That Mohammedan
Mohammedan
Mohammedan is a Western term for a follower of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. As an archaic English language term, it is used as both a noun and an adjective, meaning belonging or relating to, either Muhammad or the religion, doctrines, institutions and practices that he established...

 culture happens to have fallen back in material applications; there is no reason whatever why it should not learn its new lesson and become our equal in all those temporal things which now alone give us our superiority over it—whereas in Faith we have fallen inferior to it."

At the time of his writing, the Islamic world was still largely under the rule of the European colonial powers and the threat to Britain was from Fascism
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 and Nazism
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

. Belloc, however, considered that Islam was permanently intent on destroying the Christian faith, as well as the West, which Christendom had built. In The Great Heresies, Belloc grouped the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 together with Islam as one of the major heresies threatening the "Universal Church".

Belloc cited the many beliefs and theological principles which Islam shares with Catholicism. For Belloc, the common ground includes the unity and the omnipotence, personal nature, all-goodness, timelessness and providence of God, His creative power as the origin of all things, and His sustenance of all things by His power alone, the world of good spirits and angels and of evil spirits in war against God, with a chief evil spirit, the immortality of the soul and its responsibility for actions in this life, coupled with the doctrine of reward and punishment after death, the Day of Judgment with Christ as Judge, and the Lady Miriam (Mary) as the first among womenkind—and exactly which, in Belloc's view, identify it as a heresy
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

: where Islam decisively diverges from Catholicism (and Christianity in general) is the "denial of the Incarnation and all the sacramental life of the Church that followed from it"—with Islam regarding Jesus as a merely human Prophet
Islamic view of Jesus
In Islam, Jesus is considered to be a Messenger of God and the Masih who was sent to guide the Children of Israel with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel. The belief in Jesus is required in Islam, and a requirement of being a Muslim. The Qur'an mentions Jesus twenty-five times, more often, by...

.

Accusations of anti-Semitism

For fuller discussion, see section in G. K.'s Weekly
G. K.'s Weekly
G. K.'s Weekly was a British publication founded in 1925 by G. K. Chesterton, continuing until his death in 1936. It contained much of his later journalism, and extracts from it were published as The Outline of Sanity....



Belloc has been deemed by some to be anti-Semitic and not concerned to conceal his views. A. N. Wilson's biography expresses the opinion that Belloc had a tendency to allude to Jews in conversation, in a seemingly obsessive fashion on occasion. Anthony Powell
Anthony Powell
Anthony Dymoke Powell CH, CBE was an English novelist best known for his twelve-volume work A Dance to the Music of Time, published between 1951 and 1975....

's review of that biography contains Powell's opinion, that Belloc was thoroughly anti-Semitic, except at a personal level.

There are a number of grounds on which the accusations of anti-semitism have been based. He was repeatedly critical, from his days in politics onwards, of the influence Jewish people had on society and the world of finance
Finance
"Finance" is often defined simply as the management of money or “funds” management Modern finance, however, is a family of business activity that includes the origination, marketing, and management of cash and money surrogates through a variety of capital accounts, instruments, and markets created...

. In The Cruise of the Nona, Belloc reflected equivocally on the Dreyfus Affair
Dreyfus Affair
The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s. It involved the conviction for treason in November 1894 of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent...

 after thirty years. Norman Rose
Norman Rose
Norman Rose was an actor, film narrator and radio announcer whose velvety baritone was often called "the Voice of God" by colleagues...

's book The Cliveden Set
Cliveden set
The Cliveden Set were a 1930s right-wing, upper class group of prominent individuals politically influential in pre-World War II Britain, who were in the circle of Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor...

(2000) poses the question of whether Nancy Astor, a friend of Belloc's in the 1930s until they broke over religious matters, was influenced by him against Jews in general.

On the other hand, Canadian broadcaster Michael Coren
Michael Coren
Michael Coren is an English-Canadian columnist, author, public speaker, radio host and television talk show host. He hosted the television talk show The Michael Coren Show on the Crossroads Television System from 1999 to 2011 when he moved to the Sun News Network to host an evening talk show, The...

 wrote:
Robert Speaight
Robert Speaight
Robert Speaight was a British actor and writer, and the brother of George Speaight the puppeteer.He was an early performer in radio plays. He came to prominence as Becket in the first production of T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral. He went on to Shakespearean roles, and to direct.He also...

 cited a letter by Belloc in which he pilloried Nesta Webster
Nesta Webster
Nesta Helen Webster , was a controversial historian, occultist, and author who revived conspiracy theories about the Illuminati. She argued that the secret society's members were occultists, plotting communist world domination, using the idea of a Jewish cabal, the Masons and Jesuits as a...

 because of her accusations against "the Jews". In February 1924, Belloc wrote to an American Jewish friend regarding an allegedly anti-Semitic book by Webster. Webster had rejected Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, studied Eastern religions, accepted the Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 concept of the equality of all religions and was fascinated by theories of reincarnation
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

 and ancestral memory. Belloc expressed his views very clearly:
Speaight also points out that when faced with anti-Semitism in practice—as at elitist country clubs in America before World War II—he voiced his disapproval. Belloc condemned Nazi anti-Semitism in The Catholic and the War (1940):
Dennis Barton has defended Belloc at length. He notes that Belloc condemned wild accusations against the Jews, in his own book, The Jews. Belloc's open praises for the Jews (particularly in "The Jews, Chapter IV The General Causes of Friction") is further evidence that his anti-Semitism, to the degree that it existed, stemmed rather from unexamined cultural or personal prejudices than from conscious hostility to the Jews.

In the media

  • Stephen Fry
    Stephen Fry
    Stephen John Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director, and a director of Norwich City Football Club. He first came to attention in the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation "The Cellar Tapes", which also...

     has recorded an audio collection of Belloc's children's poetry.
  • A notable admirer of Belloc was the composer
    Composer
    A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

     Peter Warlock
    Peter Warlock
    Peter Warlock was a pseudonym of Philip Arnold Heseltine , an Anglo-Welsh composer and music critic. He used the pseudonym when composing, and is now better known by this name....

    , who set many of his poems to music.
  • A well-known parody
    Parody
    A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

     of Belloc by Sir John Squire, intended as a tribute, is Mr. Belloc's Fancy.
  • Syd Barrett
    Syd Barrett
    Syd Barrett , born Roger Keith Barrett, was an English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and painter, best remembered as a founding member of the band Pink Floyd. He was the lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter during the band's psychedelic years, providing major musical and stylistic...

    , a founder of Pink Floyd
    Pink Floyd
    Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

    , was a fan. His song "Matilda Mother
    Matilda Mother
    "Matilda Mother" is a song by British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, and is featured on their debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn...

    " was drawn directly from verses in Cautionary Tales, and was rewritten when Belloc's estate refused permission to record them. The Belloc version has been released on a 40th anniversary reissue of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
    The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
    The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is the debut album by the English rock group Pink Floyd, and the only one made under founding member Syd Barrett's leadership. The album contains whimsical lyrics about space, scarecrows, gnomes, bicycles and fairy tales, along with psychedelic instrumental songs...

    .

Others