Monday, January 03, 2005

Can anyone help with data on relation of G.K. Chesterton to Christopher Derrick?

Can anyone help me with information on the relationship between Christopher Derrick & G.K. Chesterton? I know Chesterton is convert. I remember reading about a connection with Derrick or his grandfather somewhere-- either that Derrick's grandfather was instrumental in Chesterton's conversion, or vice versa. Can anyone tell me if Christopher Derrick is a convert to Catholicism or cradle Catholic?

Christopher Derrick, of course, was the author of such well-known books as That Strange Divine Sea: Reflections on Being a Catholic, Sex and Sacredness: A Catholic Homage to Venus, and C.S. Lewis and the Church of Rome: A Study in Proto-Ecumenism. [Amazon links]

G.K. Chesterton, as you will all know, wrote such gems as Orthodoxy, The Everlasting Man, Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox, and Saint Francis of Assisi [Amazon links]

If anyone can help me with any information about their relationship, I would be much obliged.

Update (1/3/06):

I recently received a phone call from Pete Sheehan of the Long Island Catholic, who told me that he once had the privilege of interviewing Christopher Derrick. Among other things, two helpful things I learned are that Derrick is a cradle catholic, and that the influence of Chesterton on him was in all probability more by way of inspiration than by way of any direct personal influence. My thanks to Mr. Sheehan for this help in filling in the details a bit more. Those interested may see Mr. Sheehan's recent article, "Always Winter and Never Christmas," at the Long Island Catholic website. What remains in question -- based on a sketchy recollection of something I read somewhere -- is whether Chesterton was converted through the influence of Derrick's grandfather or Derrick's father was converted through the influence of Chesterton -- something like that.

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