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.
(Compiled by Joey Franklin)