Chapter

The Critic as Polemicist, 1904–6: G. F. Watts; Blatchford II; Heretics; The Ball and the Cross; Charles Dickens

William Oddie

in Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199582013
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191702303 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582013.003.0008
The Critic as Polemicist, 1904–6: G. F. Watts; Blatchford II; Heretics; The Ball and the Cross; Charles Dickens

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This chapter focuses on Chesterton's life and works from 1904–6. Shortly after The Napoleon of Notting Hill was published in March 1904, Chesterton produced what, though it is one of his least appreciated books, is in many ways one of his most characteristic: G. F. Watts, which appeared in the autumn. The book functions on two almost (but not quite) distinct levels. There is the level of pure art criticism, which reveals a considerable knowledge of other Victorian painters — Burne-Jones, Millais, Rossetti, and Whistler — and an ability to make the appropriate comparisons and contrasts between them. There is also the level on which a book about Watts, in Chesterton's hands, was bound to become an appropriate occasion for wider reflections on the culture wars of the Victorian age and of the post-Victorian world to which the book is directly addressed. The chapter also considers his other works: Heretics, Charles Dickens, and The Ball and the Cross.

Keywords: Chesterton; G. F. Watts; The Ball and the Cross; Charles Dickens; Heretics

Chapter.  23793 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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