father brown 1G.K. Chesterton has been described as one who can write alot faster than what most of us can read, and has published so many books that his posthumous reputation is almost impossible to sort out.

He would have been famous for just his Father Brown stories. He would have been famous for just his novels The Napoleon of Notting Hill and The Man Who Was Thursday. He would have been famous just as a literary critic…. Above all, he would have been famous just for his journalism; the thing he is least well-known for now.

Clive James, Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time

As it turns out to be, it was the very thing that he is least well-known for now that had actually brought me to discover the wit and intellect of this prolific writer. I have not read much of his works, but the few essays that I have had the pleasure of reading were enough to convince me as to the depth and breadth that Chesterton’s writing has to offer.

I have yet to be properly introduced to his dear old Father Brown, so finding a complete set of these stories in such lovely Penguin editions at the recent book sales was really quite a thrill. 🙂

Father Brown, one of the most quirkily genial and lovable characters to emerge from English detective fiction, first made his appearance in The Innocence of Father Brown in 1911. That first collection of stories established G.K. Chesterton’s kindly cleric in the front rank of eccentric sleuths. This complete collection contains all the favourite Father Brown stories, showing a quiet wit and compassion that has endeared him to many, whilst solving his mysteries by a mixture of imagination and a sympathetic worldliness in a totally believable manner.

father brown 4a
Aren’t these covers simply delightful? They look so inviting…..

Having also just recently finished Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, I am again reminded of just how fun and comforting reading these good old fashioned crime/mystery fiction can be. Which is why I was equally thrilled to find a copy of Edmund Crispin’s The Case of The Gilded Fly at the same sale. I have read quite a few good things about another of his Gervase Fen myteries, The Moving Toyshop which incidentally, has been named by P.D. James as one of the best five mysteries of all time. Pretty high praise, I would say. So, I am really looking forward to getting myself acquainted with this Professor Gervase Fen, a scholar who would much rather go about solving crimes than expound on the English Literature. 🙂

edmund crispin 1a

A cover like that alone would have sold me the book.


8 thoughts on “The Many Colours of Father Brown

  1. Those Father Brown copies are an amazing find, they look in pristine condition. I bought a collected version of FB last year but it’s so fat I can’t even get my hand around it to pick it up off the shelf.


    1. They are in rather pristine condition except for a couple of them with a bit of the price tag glue mark at the back ….. still, quite an amazing find indeed. Many times I am tempted to buy books that are complete in a single edition/ volume for economical reasons (some do actually look good too) but often I am put off by how heavy and fat the book is, and knowing that I will not be able to practically read it in comfort. 🙂


  2. This should be exciting!
    We read a bit of Chesterton at the University (“The Eye of Apollo”, I think, one of the stories in ‘The Innocence of Father Brown’) when we talked about the crime genre.. Since then I’ve been meaning to read more.. As it often happens – other books found their way first..


    1. That seems to be happening to me all the time – books barging in from out of nowhere and jumping queue in the ever growing list of TBR! I am really hoping to rectify that abit this year. Really getting down to reading the ones I have been meaning to for the longest time and not putting them off any longer, sort of.
      And yes, these should be exciting! 🙂


  3. The Father Browns look lovely. As for Crispin, you’re in for a treat! He’s one of my favourite crime authors ever. Enjoy!


    1. I love them too. And I’m thankful that it’s gonna be a lot easier to pick one of these up on any given day and start reading, than having to pluck a big fat hardcover volume off the shelves…. Plus, these look so good on the shelves! 😉


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