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Tony Grist

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A Snippet Of Autobiography [Nov. 22nd, 2016|01:38 pm]
Tony Grist
There was a time when I wrote regularly for the folks at The Chesterton Review- the organ of the G.K.Chesterton Society- which was- and may still be- published in Canada. I lost contact with them as my interest in Chesterton's brand of ultramontanism waned and I found other hobby-horses to gallop around on but I was so well in with them in the early 80s that the editor invited me to guest edit a special issue on the Father Brown stories (which incidentally I still love). It fell through- because none of the people I wrote to wanted to send me copy. Perhaps I aimed too high. I didn't know any academics because that wasn't my world so I wrote to famous people who I thought might be interested- for instance Alec Guinness who played the little priest in the Robert Hamer film. All of them wrote back and I still have the letters.

Alec Guinness said he couldn't help because he was off to the USA and hadn't liked the movie and thought he'd been miscast in it. He suggested I try Kenneth More instead. I did, but Kenneth More had the best of all excuses- that he was dying. Others who wrote back regretfully turning me down included Kingsley Amis, P.D. James, Auberon Waugh and Julian Symons. I found the folder containing the letters this morning as I was rifling through cupboards trying to lighten the huge weight of paper we own.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: clindau
2016-11-22 02:07 pm (UTC)
What's your opinion of the most recent Father Brown TV series?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-22 04:07 pm (UTC)
I watched a few episodes. It's very far removed from Chesterton and the writers know nothing about the Church but apart from that it's good fun and Mark Williams is excellent in the title role. One of these days someone will produce a version that does justice to Chesterton's extravagantly gothick imagination but for the time being this will have to do.
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[User Picture]From: faunhaert
2016-11-22 05:00 pm (UTC)
its so funny watching mr Weasley as a priest .

the catholic nuances are somewhat there
he has grown into the role
he's got from a fan of the stories
to actually lost in the plot.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-22 05:10 pm (UTC)
I should catch up on some of the more recent episodes.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2016-11-22 08:59 pm (UTC)
Hang on to those letters! They will very likely be worth something someday, if not already.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-22 09:12 pm (UTC)
Ailz did some research and discovered that a letter from Alec Guinness recently sold for over $300. He's valuable because of Star Wars. I imagine the writers' autographs would go for less.
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[User Picture]From: basefinder
2016-11-22 11:24 pm (UTC)
I haven't read any Chesterton but we are enjoying the Father Brown (Mark Williams) series on TV after about four or five episodes.

Those letters sound fascinating.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-23 09:26 am (UTC)
That's a fun series- but it's a long way removed from the original stories- it doesn't even occupy the same time frame.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2016-11-23 01:18 am (UTC)
All of them wrote back and I still have the letters.

That is a pretty great anthology of rejections.
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