Hilaire Belloc bought King's Land (in Shipley, Sussex), 5 acres and a working windmill for £1000 in 1907 and it was his home for the rest of his life. Belloc loved Sussex as few other writers have loved her: he lived there for most of his 83 years, he tramped the length and breadth of the county, slept under her hedgerows, drank in her inns, sailed her coast and her rivers and wrote several incomparable books about her. "He does not die that can bequeath Some influence to the land he knows, Or dares, persistent, interwreath Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; He does not die, but still remains Substantiate with his darling plains."

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Tuesday 4 March 2014

Schall on Belloc for Lent...

''For Lent, I will read Hilaire Belloc's Places. Belloc is the best essayist in our language. Here are essays on places from North to the South of Europe, to the Mideast, to North Africa. The memory of what we are, or perhaps of what we were and are now rejecting, is here found. The third essay is "On Wandering;" the final essay is "About Wine," neither to be missed. I heard of a new book that, like the European constitutionalists, wrote of Europe as if it had no Christian roots. But, "A (man) travels in order to visit cities and men, and to get a knowledge of the real places where things happened in the past, getting a knowledge also of how the mind of man worked in building and works now in daily life." Today we must also find these same places in books, lest we forget what we are.''

Father James V. Schall, S. J., is a retired Professor of Government (Georgetown University). 

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