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Twelve Types Paperback – March 24, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Each essay in this wonderful little book has something stimulating to say." -- Jim Bemis, The Wanderer, December 31, 2003 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England, in 1874. He went on to study art at the Slade School, and literature at University College in London. Chesterton wrote a great deal of poetry, as well as works of social and literary criticism. Among his most notable books are "The Man Who Was Thursday", a metaphysical thriller, and "The Everlasting Man", a history of humankind's spiritual progress. After Chesterton converted to Catholicism in 1922, he wrote mainly on religious topics such as "Orthodoxy" and "Heretics". Chesterton is most known for creating the famous priest-detective character Father Brown, who first appeared in "The Innocence of Father Brown". Chesterton died in 1936 at the age of 62. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Serenity Publishers, LLC (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604506679
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604506679
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,566,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By T. Patrick Killough on June 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
"GKC" was pushing 30 when TWELVE TYPES was pulled together in book form in 1903. It made his literary reputation among the cognoscenti of England.

His little essays touch on one woman and eleven men. All twelve "types" are well known, although for different skills, including writing, thinking, brooding or kinging it.

Charlotte Bronte wrote of plain people with big, sometimes tortured souls. William Morris found the 19th Century ugly and tried to reshape it in stained glass and cloth to evoke better bygone ages.

Lord Byron wore many disguises, including pessimism. Robert Louis Stevenson was even more a man of masks. Alexander Pope knew, generously, that people worth satirizing had to have a core of value. He made his witty, wise couplets look easy. But no one who has copied him has been remotely so good.

What did Francis of Assisi and Edmund Rostand share? They were great poets, first and foremost. Francis loved life and people more happily than anyone before or since. Rostand's soldiers dying in fear of the crows that would soon pluck out their eyes cheered for Napoleon one last "Vive l'empereur!."

That idlest but most despotic of Stuart Kings, Charles II, was a thorough sceptic. He was not just sceptical about this or that. He doubted everything. Even in turning Catholic and taking communion on his deathbed, he might muse, "The wafer might not be God, similarly it might not be a wafer." Charles's restoration in 1660 was a revolt "of the debris of human nature." Men of the Restoration, weak Epicureans all, were masters of killing time. Higher Epicureans "make time live."

Thomas Carlyle believed his message to be true and important but did not think it important to persuade others.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of Chesterton's smallest books, but boy is it packed with knowledge. If you are considering a career in literary criticism you would do well to purchase this book. At times, because Chesterton can be so deep, it is hard to follow. But there are good footnotes in the back of the book. Read it slowly, and savor every moment.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Come ON. It's Chesterton, for Heaven's sake. It makes wonderful reading (or re-reading) in any format.
The advantage of using the Kindle is that (1) it's more portable than a paper book and (2) you can select the type size yourself. No more teeny-tiny little letters to squint your aging eyes at. Incidentally, thanks to the Kindle delivery system, it's also cheaper than a paper book.
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By A S on January 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Okay, maybe not the literal, literary definition of "wit", but if you want to be entertained and have your brain challenged as well, Chesterton is for you.

I always come away from anything he'd written with a sense of understanding and awe, unable to fathom how the man comes up with his utterly unique and concentric style of argument and explanation.

"Twelve Types" is a compilation of biographical essays of writers, most of whom I know nothing, but it didn't matter, the way Chesterton describes them and explains his lauds or laments about them is worth the reading.
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