G.K. Chesterton was born in London in 1874 and was educated at St Paul's School. He became a journalist and began writing for The Speaker with his friend Hilaire Belloc. His first novel, The Napoleon of Notting Hill, was published in 1904. In this book Chesterton developed his political attitudes in which he attacked socialism, big business and technology and showed how they become the enemies of freedom and justice. These were themes which were to run through his other works.
Chesterton converted to Catholicism in 1922. He explored his belief in his many religious essays and books. The best known is Orthodoxy, his personal spiritual odyssey.
His output was prolific. He wrote a great variety of books from biographies on Shaw and Dickens to literary criticism. He also produced poetry and many volumes of political, social and religious essays. His style is marked by vigour, puns, paradoxes and a great intelligence and personal modesty.
Chesterton is perhaps best known for his Father Brown stories. Father Brown is a modest Catholic priest who uses careful psychology to put himself in the place of the criminal in order to solve the crime.