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Posted September 20, 2010

Book: The Essential Belloc: A Prophet of Our Times
Edited by Rev. C. John McCloskey, Scott J. Block and Brian Robertson
St. Benedict Press. Charlotte NC. 2010. Pp. 289

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1954) was a poet, polemicist, and prose stylist without peer, but above all, an entire generation’s mighty champions for the Catholic Faith. The Essential Belloc, a timely new compilation of his insights on religion, politics, Western history and culture, is perfect for Catholics struggling against secularism. Also included are his lighter musings on the particular charms of towns and peoples throughout the world, the love of good food and drink, and the songs of camaraderie that go with them.

An Excerpt from the Book:

On Islam

“The future always comes as a surprise. . .but for my part I cannot but believe that a main unexpected thing of the future is the return of Islam.”

“A little more and there will cease that which our time has taken for granted, the physical domination of Islam by the disintegrated Christendom we know.”

On Friendship

“There is nothing worth the wear of winning, but laughter and the love of friends.”

“A man is more himself if he is one of a number. . .all companionship is good, but chance friendship is the best of all. . .”

“Note you, we have not many friends. The older we grow and the better we can sift mankind, the fewer friends we count, although man lives by friendship. But a great wind is every man’s friend, and its strength is the strength of good-fellowship; and even doing battle with it is something worthy and well chosen.”


“The reason the Dead do not return nowadays is the boredom of it.”

“There are two kinds of jokes, those jokes that are funny because they are true, and those jokes that would be funny anyhow.”

“The wisest men, in the bulk, are the men who have tilled the earth.”

“Any subject can be made interesting, and therefore any subject can be boring.”

“Now the faith is not taught. It is inhabited and breathed in.”

“There was a confused liberal notion that toleration was in some way a virtue in itself.”

Table of Contents:

1. Christendom in crisis

2. Islam --- scourge of the West

3. Travels on land and sea

4. Friendship and the Inn

5. Belloc the essayist

6. Economics and the social order

7. History and historical personages

8. Science and truth

9. Songs and verse

10. Wit, witticisms, and wisdom