G. K. Chesterton is one of my favorite authors. His book Orthodoxy is on my Amazon “Burning Books” list. I will write more about that list later. So it was with great excitement that I was recently invited to review Defiant Joy: The Remarkable Life and Impact of G. K. Chesterton by Kevin Belmonte.
And the book did not disappoint. After a few opening biographical chapters about the birth and early life of Chesterton, the rest of the book is devoted to summarizing his written works and the events surrounding their publication. And while there are chapters on Orthodoxy, The Everlasting Man, and The Man Who Was Thursday, three of his greatest books, Kevin Belmonte also includes chapters on some of the lesser-known works, such as his play, Magic: A Fantastic Comedy in a Prelude and Three Acts.
The book was well researched, carefully written, and for me, highly depressing. Why? Because of how much Chesterton accomplished in his writing career before he was 35. By the time he was my age, he was an internationally renowned literary critic and author. Me? Well, I have a blog.
I’m (mostly) joking, of course. The book reminded me of how much I enjoy reading Chesterton and taught me many things about him that I did not know. If you love Chesterton and want to learn more about him, I recommend this biography.