Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Color Were G.K. Chesterton's Eyes?

Today, working on a project, I happened to wonder, what color were his eyes? My immediate guess was blue, he being of that heritage that produces blue eye color quite a bit. But I asked an expert, who found this quote:
"I found, with Mrs. Chesterton at the Biltmore, this big, gentle leonine man of letters six feet of him and 200 odd lbs. There is a delightful story of how an American, driving with him through London, remarked, "Everyone seems to know you, Mr. Chesterton."
"Yes," mournfully responded the gargantuan author, "and if they don't they ask."
He really doesn't look anything like as fat as his caricatures make him, however, and he has a head big enough to go with his massive tallness. His eyes are brilliant English blue behind the big rimmed eyeglasses: his wavy hair, steel grey; his heavy mustache, bright yellow. Physically he is the crackling electric spark of the heaven-home-and-mother party, the only man who can give the cleverest radical debaters a Roland for their Oliver."
(so MW quotes a reporter in GKC pg.564-5
So there is a good description for you of the man, including those brilliant English blue eyes.


  1. A lovely description, thanks for finding it! I also really like the reference to 'Song of Roland' in the last line.

  2. Valery Larbaud, the french author written at Paul Claudel in 1911, about Chesterton : "on trouve de bons yeux bleus intelligents" (twoo good eyes blue intelligent)

  3. Thanks, Phillippe! An excellent catch!

    Can you please give us the citation - that is, where you found this statement? Is there more detail about GKC from Larbaud in that source?


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