Pearce on Wells and the Chesterbelloc

Joseph Pearce in good form here writing about H.G.Wells’ arguments with Hilaire Belloc and G.K.Chesterton. Wells had written his progressivist Outline of History and Belloc attacked with scorn and ridicule. Chesterton attacked with the far more terrible weapon of humor and fun.

Belloc, with his customary bellicosity, was merciless in his attacks on Wells’s scholarship and lack thereof. “Mr Wells suffers from the very grievous fault of being ignorant that he is ignorant,” Belloc wrote, adding that Wells had a “strange cocksuredness” considering that he had clearly mistaken “the old conventional textbook of his schooldays” for “universal knowledge”.[2] It was amid the acrimony and controversy of the heated debate between Wells and Belloc that Chesterton wrote The Everlasting Man. Intended as an answer to Wells but wholly different in tone from Belloc’s published ripostes, the book was Chesterton’s own attempt at an “outline of history”.

Chesterton won. He remained friends with Wells, whereas Belloc and Wells became enemies. Lesson: argue with wit and wisdom not anger and animosity. Read the whole article here.


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