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Chesterton Society Meeting

March 15, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Everlasting Man: Chapter 2 “Professors and Prehistoric Men”
Fr. Brown: “The Secret of Flambeau”

Email from Spencer Roundtree:

We will be discussing the second chapter of The Everlasting Man, Professors and Prehistoric Men. Click HERE for an online audio version of The Everlasting Man.
In Chapter 2 Chesterton continues the argument he began in Chapter 1. In the first chapter he pointed out how some scientists were very unscientific in their attitude towards Darwin’s theory of evolution.They tended to accept the theory as an explanation beyond all reasonable question and ceased being scientific about the facts. They started to interpret the facts in light of the theory, and even assuming “as yet undiscovered facts”, such as “the Missing Link” as indisputable, because the theory needed these facts to fill in the gaps. Not that Chesterton was what we would call a Creationist today. He believed many scientists were giddily in thrall to the theory, and recklessly running beyond where the discipline of scientific method and logic would allow. In Chapter 2 he goes on to show how this same marriage to the theory influences historians in their work, too. They are in love with the theory and they want to see it everywhere. The archeological finds of prehistoric man are fertile ground for these jaundiced imaginations. But GKC patiently shows us how these same archeological finds have a much more sane and reasonable explanation.

The Father Brown Story is The Secret of Flambeau. Click HERE for the Table of Contents page of the ebook version of The Complete Father Brown.

The Secret of Flambeau is the final chapter of the book, The Secret of Father Brown. If you remember, the first chapter of this book was also titled The Secret of Father Brown. In that story Father Brown pays a visit to Flambeau in his French country villa. Flambeau has another guest, an American, who has heard of Father Brown and his gift for detection. He presses Father Brown rather persistently to reveal his method of detection to him, which Father Brown does, somewhat reluctantly. The eight stories between that first story and our current story being Father Brown’s explanation of his method by way of example. You might want to reread that first story to refresh your memory, for the two, The Secret of Father Brown and The Secret of Flambeau, together form one story of their own.

I’m going to conclude this with a poem by a writer other than Chesterton, but the sentiment contained in it is one I heartily agree with. And it’s fun also.

Mark your calendar for Tuesday evening, March 15, and I’ll see you there.



I LIKE to read myself to sleep in Bed,
A thing that every honest man has done
At one time or another, it is said,
But not as something in the usual run;
Now I from ten years old to forty one
Have never missed a night: and what I need
To buck me up is Gilbert Chesterton,
(The only man I regularly read).

The Illustrated London News is wed
To letter press as stodgy as a bun,
The Daily News might just as well be dead,
The ‘Idler’ has a tawdry kind of fun,
The ‘Speaker’ is a sort of Sally Lunn,
The ‘World’ is like a small unpleasant weed;
I take them all because of Chesterton,
(The only man I regularly read).

The memories of the Duke of Beach Head,
The memories of Lord Hildebrand (his son)
Are things I could have written on my head,
So are the memories of the Comte de Mun,
And as for novels written by the ton,
I’d burn the bloody lot! I know the Breed!
And get me back to with Chesterton
(The only man I regularly read).


Prince, have you read a book called “Thoughts upon
The Ethos of the Athanasian Creed”?
No matter—it is not by Chesterton
(The only man I regularly read).

~A nameless Ballade by Hilaire Belloc. Quoted in Return to Chesterton, by Maisie Ward, p. 131.


March 15, 2016
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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