Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

A Snippet Of Autobiography

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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