Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Frances (Blogg) Chesterton

What do we really know about her?

He loved her, that's for sure. She was five years older than him, that's interesting.
What tidbits do you have? I'm interested in knowing more about the woman Chesterton loved.


  1. The Derringer pistol Chesterton carried with him everywhere he went? He bought it on the way to his wedding, because he liked the idea of being able to defend Frances with it.

    She was a redhead. Almost all the heroines in Chesterton's fiction (novels and short stories) were redheads.

    I know this doesn't tell you much about her. But it does reveal something of his feelings for her.

  2. She loved a man who smoked, drank...and ate meat. What a woman!

  3. "She was a redhead. Almost all the heroines in Chesterton's fiction (novels and short stories) were redheads."

    The editor of The Annotated Thursday overlooks this fact in the very first chapter! The first three characters are redheads, but he chalks this up to Chesterton's artistic eye for vivid colors.

  4. I never heard she was a redhead, where did you read that, Chestertonian?

  5. I thought it was common knowledge, and I've in fact read/heard it in a number of sources, none of which I remember at the moment. I'll be seeing Dale this weekend at our meeting, however, and I can confirm with him if you like. If I'm wrong, I'll...I don't know...hurt myself somehow. ;-)

  6. Her redheadiness was knowledge common to me, at least. Being a redhead myself, I think I would remember such things correctly.

  7. Herman Goodden3/11/2006 10:03 PM

    Frances Chesterton's poem, Children's Song of the Nativity, is anthologised in Walter de la Mare's wonderful anthology of poetry for children, Tom Tiddler's Ground. It goes like this:

    How far is it to Bethelehm?
    Not very far.
    Shall we find the stable-room
    Lit by a star?

    Can we see the little child?
    Is he within?
    If we lift the wooden latch
    May we go in?

    May we stroke the creatures there,
    Ox, ass, or sheep?
    May we peep like them and see
    Jesus asleep?

    If we touch his tiny hand
    Will he awake?
    Will he know we've come so far
    Just for his sake?

    Great kings have precious gifts,
    And we have naught,
    Little smiles and little tears
    Are all we brought.

    For all weary children
    Mary must weep.
    Here on his bed of straw
    Sleep, children, sleep.

    God in his mother's arms,
    Babes in the byre,
    Sleep, as they sleep who find
    Their heart's desire.

  8. Well, that shows what a good poet Frances was, and a rhyming poet, too, which would have attracted Gilbert, right?

    I would love to hear this sung sometime, I believe it was made into a Christmas hymn.


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