Literary Converts: Spiritual Inspiration in an Age of Unbelief - Joseph Pearce - كتب Google
Wells in intensifying the religious debate despite not being converts themselves is also considered. Many will be intrigued to know more about what inspired their literary heroes; others will find the association of such names with Christian belief surprising or even controversial. His other books include literary biographies of Oscar Wilde, J.
Tolkien, C. Lewis, G. Chesterton and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
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New Podcast Episode: “Literature, Poetry, and Literary Converts” with Prof. Joseph Pearce
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Chesterton upon his thought and writings and to a lesser extent that of Hilaire Belloc'. O'Connor to study for the priesthood before becoming a writer of popular theology and a translator of philosophical works from the French; Naomi Jacob, who converted the previous year as an eighteen-year-old, and who was destined to become one of the most prolific and popular of novelists, writing light fiction chiefly concerned with the delineation of character; and Lewis Watt, received in and later becoming a Jesuit, the author of several books on Catholic social teaching.
It is not clear whether Chesterton's Orthodoxy had any direct influence on Maurice Baring's imminent conversion but considering his admiration for Chesterton's earlier works, and his growing fondness for the author, it would be surprising if Baring had not read Orthodoxy in the months immediately preceding his reception into the Church on 1 February Although Baring had written to Vernon Lee from St Petersburg in January asking whether Lee had read Chesterton's books, The Napoleon of Notting Hill and Heretics , and stating that 'I like his ideas',  it seems that Chesterton and Baring did not become good friends until as late as Considering that they had both been friends of Belloc since the turn of the century, this is surprising.
As late as March Baring was writing to Chesterton from Moscow requesting a greater intimacy in their relationship: Dear Gilbert may I leave out the Chesterton? Prince, may I call you by your Christian name?
I hope to be back in London this week. I hope to see you very soon on my return.
Prince, there is no one like you in the East. Eventually Frances Chesterton was to say that 'of all her husband's friends' there was none he loved better than Maurice Baring. The event was recorded in Baring's autobiography, The Puppet Show of Memory , with the simple statement that it was 'the only action in my life which I am quite certain I have never regretted'.
Such uncharacteristic reticence is surprising from an author who later fear- lessly used the medium of his fiction as a means of expressing his faith. However, the feelings he felt unable or unwilling to express in prose he expressed admirably in verse, particularly in his sonnet sequence 'Vita Nuova'. Divided into a chronological trinity, the first sonnet deals with the initial approach to conversion: 'I found the clue I sought not, in the night, While wandering in a pathless maze of gloom Why linger in a separated porch?
Why nurse the flicker of a severed torch? The fire is there, ablaze beyond the gate. Why tremble, foolish soul? Why hesitate? However faint the knock, it will be heard.
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I found myself in a familiar place; And there my broken soul began to mend; I knew the smile of every long-lost face - They whom I had forgot remembered me; I knelt, I knew - it was too bright to see - The welcome of a King who was my friend. In his critical study of Chesterton, Belloc and Baring, translated into English by Father Martindale, Las Vergnas wrote that Baring's Christian faith was the 'powerful unifying force' responsible for 'harmonising the complex tendencies' in his artis- tic temperament. Three years earlier, on 19 April , Belloc had written a rhyming letter to Baring offering encouragement as his friend fumbled his way faithwards: My ardent love Accompanies your soul and on the whole I doubt if all the saints could roll your soul One tittle faster to the Faith than He Who made your soul is rolling it.
Baring travelled widely throughout Europe as diplomat, journalist and man of leisure. He knew Latin, Greek, French, German, Italian and Russian and he was widely read in the literatures of all these languages.
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He was the quintessential European. With this in mind, Belloc's words in An Open Letter on the Decay of Faith , published in , must have struck Baring with a particular resonance: I desire you to remember that we are Europe; we are a great people.