Hilaire Belloc - Encyclopedia


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"HILAIRE BELLOC (1870-), British man of letters, was born near Versailles July 27 1870. His father was a Frenchman; his mother, an Englishwoman whose maiden name was Bessie Rayner Parkes, took an active share at an early date in the woman-suffrage movement (see 28.787). Educated at Edgbaston, he served as a driver in the 8th Regiment of French artillery before proceeding to Balliol College, Oxford. At Oxford he was prominent both in his schools and at the Union, and soon became known as a clever writer and speaker. He sat in the House of Commons for Salford from 1906 to 1910 as a Liberal. His very numerous writings include verse, children's books, essays, biography and fiction, as well as military history. Amongst them may be mentioned Danton (1899); Robespierre (1901); The Path to Rome (1902); Esto Perpetua (1906); Cautionary Tales (1907); Mr. Clutterbuck's Election (1908); A Change in the Cabinet (1909); Marie Antoinette (1910) and A General Sketch of the European War (1915-6).

His sister, Marie Adelaide Belloc-Lowndes (b. 1868), who in 1896 married Frederick Sawrey Lowndes, a member of the staff of The Times, also became well-known as the author of numerous novels and striking short stories, including The Pulse of Life (1907); The Uttermost Farthing (1908); Studies in Wives (1909); The Chink in the Armour (1912); The Lodger (1913), etc. Dramatized versions of the last two, by H. A. Vachell, were played in London as The House of Peril (1919) and Who is He? (r915). She published besides a biography of Charlotte Elizabeth, Princess Palatine (1889) and Told in Gallant Deeds, a history of the World War for children (1914).

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