Chesterton writes a long introductory poem to his friend. There are clues to the story in the poem, allusions to poems and stories that Bentley and Chesterton must both have read. And of this line:
"And none shall understand but you..Oh who shall understand but you; yea, who shall understand?"...leading one reviewer to comment that if Bentley was the only one who would understand this book, wasn't it unreasonable to expect anyone else to read it?
Chesterton tells Bentley:
"This is a tale of those old fearsOne can certainly read TMWWT without reading this poem, but I think it makes it more personal and puts Chesterton's mind at the time in perspective to read the poem.
even of those emptied hells
such truth can now be told..."
My favorite line is:
"We have found common things at last, and marriage, and a creed..."I don't know Bentley's faith life, or if he had any kind of conversion, or who he married of if they had children (who would have been nieces and nephews), but we know Bentley remained friends with Gilbert all his life, even attempting to visit him two days prior to his death. Bentley dedicated his best selling novel Trent's Last Case to Gilbert.