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Like much of G. K. Chesterton's fiction, The Ball and the Cross is both
witty and profound, cloaking serious religious and philosophical inquiry in
sparkling humor and whimsy. Serialized in the British publication The
Commonwealth in 1905-06, Chesterton's second novel first appeared in book
form in America in 1909, delighting and challenging readers with its heady
mixture of fantasy, farce, and theology. The plot of The Ball and the
Cross chronicles a hot dispute between two Scotsmen, one a devout but
naive Roman Catholic, the other a zealous but naive atheist. Their
fanatically held opinions--leading to a duel that is proposed but never
fought--inspire a host of comic adventures whose allegorical levels
vigorously explore the debate between theism and atheism. Martin Gardner's
superb introduction to The Ball and the Cross reveals the real-life
debate between Chesterton and a famous atheist that provided inspiration
for the story, and it explores some of the novel's possible allegorical
meanings. Appraising the book's many intriguing philosophical qualities,
Mr. Gardner alerts readers as well to the pleasures of its colorful style
. . . amusing puns and clever paradoxes . . . and the humor and melodrama
of its crazy plot. Unabridged Dover (1995) republication of the work
originally published in 1909-1910. New Introduction by Martin Gardner.

G. K. Chesterton—The Ball And The Cross

  • 9780486288055
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