Scope and Content



1. ff. 1-70v. Verses and sketches written for Rhoda Bastable, a cousin of Frances Chesterton and occasional secretary to Chesterton, sent to Dorothy Collins, who arranged them in an album, circa 1964; circa 1900 - circa 1918. Autograph. Rhoda Bastable's autograph book is at Add. 73304 B. Includes: illustrated verses, 'The poet & nature', being two versions of verses later revised as 'The oneness of the philosopher with nature', published in Greybeards at Play (see also Add. 73242 A, B, 73305 A, 73306) (ff. 1-6), letter followed by verses and drawings (ff. 7-13), poem 'To Rhoda' (published in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 335-336) (f. 14), poem 'The fish out of water' (amended text and illustrations published as 'Of the dangers attending altruism on the high seas' in Greybeards at Play), inscribed to Rhoda Bastable and in a cover lettered 'Society for the Encouragement of Rain', with a jeu d'esprit invitation to a meeting on 16 Dec. 1900 and a sketch of the Society's alleged members (ff. 15-27), letter entitled 'First French course' (ff. 28-29), sketch map of Battersea Park, showing the Chestertons' address (f. 30), poem 'A standing invitation', with an explanation by Dorothy Collins (published in Return to Chesterton, pp. 181-182 and in C.W., vol. 10, p. 316 and in facsimile on p. 264) (ff. 31-32), sketches 'Maxims of Grunk' (ff. 33-37), Christmas greetings, verse and sketches (published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 229, as 'A Happy Xmas') (f. 38), two leaves of sketches of Otto von Bismarck (ff. 39-40), sketch of the head of a Boer (f. 41), sketches of 'The last troubadour' (ff. 42-43), sketches of 'The tale of a good deed' (ff. 44-49v), poem 'Ballade of amateur mysteries (to Maurice Baring)' (ff. 50-51), eight sketches of mediaeval notables (ff. 52-59), 'Rhoda's first English phrase book' (six drawings published in Return to Chesterton, facing p. 120) (ff. 60-69), three pencil drawings (ff. 70-70v).

2. ff. 71-77. Verses and sketches written for L. Kathleen Chesshire, secretary to Chesterton; 1921, n.d. Autograph. Includes: 'To L. K. C.', Christmas verses for 1921 (published in C.W., vol. 10, p. 332) (f. 71), 'To L. K. C. from G. K. C.', a poem in four stanzas (published in The Lady, vol. 120, no. 3122 (21 Dec. 1944), p. 402 and in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 332-333), (f. 72), 'The anti-waste campaign', a sketch of Kathleen Chesshire with clothes on a pole (f. 73), drawings of a knight and a seated man (ff. 74-75), an outline of a story with a drawing of two Regency men (ff. 76-77).

3. ff. 78-101. Poems and facetiae written by Chesterton circa 1930 for Margaret Halford of Beaconsfield and for the Players' Club there, of which Mrs Halford was a leading member; 1959. Typewritten and autograph copies made by Margaret Halford; for the letter to Dorothy Collins accompanying the copies, see Add. 73475 B, f. 162. The poems 'Midsummer night's dream', the poem beginning "Far from the Player's Club but not in play", 'The apology of Bottom the weaver', 'Prologue to the Old Vic pantomime' are published in C.W., vol. 10, pp. 307-308, 312, 495-496, 462-464. Fragments of these and other poems are printed in Return to Chesterton, pp. 116-118. See also Add. 73301 A.


  • ff. 1-70v Rhoda Bastable, cousin of F A Chesterton: Verses and sketches written for R. Bastable by G. K. Chesterton: circa 1900- circa 1918: Autogr.
  • ff. 71-77 L. Kathleen Chesshire, secretary to G K Chesterton: Verses and sketches written for L. K. Chesshire by G. K. Chesterton: 1921, n.d.: Autogr.
  • ff. 78-101 Margaret Halford, of Beaconsfield: Poems and facetiae written for M. Halford by G. K. Chesterton circa 1930, and copied by her: 1959: Partly copies, partly typewritten.

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