With a French father, and English mother, and an American wife, Belloc's life was spread across the Western world, and he made his mark on most of it. Besides being one of the more productive essayists of the early twentieth century, Belloc was also a playful poet, convincing statesmen, patriotic soldier, dedicated father, and avid traveler. He wrote throughout his life, and his most famous works reflect his eclecticism. His travelogue, The Path to Rome (1902), tells of walking from central France to Rome; his farcical poetry, Cautionary Tales, uses childish tones to discuss adult realities; and his nonfiction political books, The Servile State (1912), and Europe and Faith (1920), question capitalism while championing Catholicism. He also wrote on Islam, the Crusades, and alternative history, and authored biographies on Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon, and others. Outspoken, convincing, and eloquent, Belloc is remembered as much for his personality and presence as for his poetry and prose. "The Mowing of a Field," anthologized here, is just one example of his many classic additions to English literature that show his contempt for capitalism and his emphasis on national self-consciousness.
"If one had the time one could watch Them day after day, and never see Them do a single kind or good thing, or be moved by a single virtuous impulse."
Patrick Madden's New Book
Quotidiana site founder Patrick Madden has just published a book of his own personal essays, including pieces formerly published in the Best American Spiritual Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction anthologies.
If you enjoy the classical essays on this site, you'll enjoy these contemporary ruminations as well. Soon there'll be a web page here with further information, but for now, you can find out more (and perhaps purchase a copy) at Amazon.com.
"Patrick Madden is an essayist of verve, passion, wit, and dependable moral compass. Quotidiana drew me in powerfully, from page to page and from pleasure to pleasure." —Ian Frazier
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Quotidiana is an online anthology of "classical" essays, from antiquity to the early twentieth century. All essays and images are in the public domain. Commentaries are copyrighted, but may be used with proper attribution. Special thanks to the BYU College of Humanities and English Department for funding, and to Joey Franklin and Lara Burton, for tireless research assisting.