Joseph Pearce

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Glimpses Delightful and Rare
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Glimpses Delightful and Rare

One of the root problems facing our beleaguered world is that many of our contemporaries are belaboring the past as a burden, believing that the legacy and traditions of Western Civilization are a millstone around modernity’s neck.  Cast off the

More Than an Inkling
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More Than an Inkling

From the October 2015 issue of Chronicles.

“Every great man nowadays has his disciples,” wrote Oscar Wilde, “and it is always Judas who writes the biography.”  Even conceding that Wilde was writing for effect, it is nonetheless true that biographers

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Holy Ghosts and the Spirit of Christmas

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From the December 2014 issue of Chronicles.

It has been argued that, after Shakespeare, Charles Dickens is the finest writer in the English language.  His works have forged their way into the canon to such a degree that it is

Realism of the Real
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Realism of the Real

A century ago, the Kansas-born and Vermont-based writer Dorothy Canfield Fisher spoke of the importance of place, as well as of time, in the formation of a culture and in the shaping of individuals within a culture:

Some wise man

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Revisiting Brideshead

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From the June 2015 issue of Chronicles.

It seems to me that in the present phase of European history the essential issue is no longer between Catholicism, on one side, and Protestantism, on the other, but between Christianity and Chaos.

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Race Against Reason

We are living in a racially charged climate.  Problems associated with the relations between the races seem endemic to all areas of our sad and beleaguered culture.  Discussions of law enforcement are dominated by the alleged racism of police officers

Fighting the Dragon With Solzhenitsyn
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Fighting the Dragon With Solzhenitsyn

Do great men make history?  Or does history make great men?  One thing’s for sure: History sometimes smothers great men, as Thomas Gray suggests in his famous elegy written in a country churchyard, and as the rows of endless graves

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Becoming Like Little Children

C.S. Lewis’s classic children’s story The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is one of the ten bestselling books of all time, standing shoulder to shoulder with The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit in the elite list of

More Than an Inkling
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More Than an Inkling

“Every great man nowadays has his disciples,” wrote Oscar Wilde, “and it is always Judas who writes the biography.”  Even conceding that Wilde was writing for effect, it is nonetheless true that biographers often betray their subjects with either a

Revisiting Brideshead
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Revisiting Brideshead

It seems to me that in the present phase of European history the essential issue is no longer between Catholicism, on one side, and Protestantism, on the other, but between Christianity and Chaos. . . .

Today we can see

The Nightmare That Wakes Us Up
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The Nightmare That Wakes Us Up

G.K. Chesterton had a low opinion of his own abilities as a novelist.  “[M]y real judgment of my own work,” he confessed, “is that I have spoilt a number of jolly good ideas in my time”:

I think The Napoleon

Epiphanies of Grace
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Epiphanies of Grace

“There is no such thing as a moral
or an immoral book.  Books are well
written, or badly written.  That is all.”

        —Oscar Wilde, from the Preface to
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde wrote several first-rate plays, on

Holy Ghosts and the Spirit of Christmas
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Holy Ghosts and the Spirit of Christmas

It has been argued that, after Shakespeare, Charles Dickens is the finest writer in the English language.  His works have forged their way into the canon to such a degree that it is much more difficult to know which of

The Soul of a Poet
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The Soul of a Poet

My generation is perhaps the last to whom the figure of Aleksandr Sol-zhe-nitsyn looms as large as a legend.  I have vague, hazy recollections as a boy, and as a teenager, of the man in the news who was depicted

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Small Is Beautiful Versus Big Is Best

The phrase “Small is beautiful” was coined, or at least popularized, by the economist E.F. Schumacher, who chose it for the title of his ground-breaking international best-seller, published in 1973, that exploded like a beneficent bomb, demolishing, or at least

The Romantic Reaction
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The Romantic Reaction

In the Afterword to the third edition of The Pilgrim’s Regress, C.S. Lewis argued that Romanticism had acquired so many different meanings that it had become meaningless. “I would not now use this word . . . to describe

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On the Chesterton Review

The Chesterton Review continues on, after celebrating its 30th anniversary last year.  Back in 1974, on the centenary of the birth of the great English writer G.K. Chesterton, a small and seemingly insignificant literary journal was launched in England in

Man and Everyman
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Man and Everyman

The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis’s masterful critique of the relativism that was as rampant in his day as it is in ours, represented the culmination of the author’s quest for the quintessential meaning of man’s being and purpose. 

Letting the Catholic Out of the Baggins
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Letting the Catholic Out of the Baggins

“Poetry requires not an examining but a believing frame of mind.”

 —T.B. Macaulay 

In the United Kingdom, back in 1997, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was voted “the greatest book of the twentieth century” in several major polls,