Gilbert Keith Chesterton was a remarkable writer who also seems to have been a hoot of a man as well as a good one.

He was 6 foot 4 in the old money (192cm) and almost as wide. He wrote some novels – The Man Who was Thursday and The Napoleon of Notting Gate – which will live as classics.

He wrote books such as Orthodoxy in which he argued for the Catholic position, and he produced the Father Brown detective stories, the best written and most imaginative crime fiction penned, Raymond Chandler notwithstanding.

Indeed everything of Chesterton’s is dazzlingly written, which helps explain why Borges – and a lot of other people – found him irresistible. He was deeply funny in himself (sometimes unconsciously) and by force of wit.

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