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Old 05-07-2007, 12:11 PM   #1
HarryT
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Post Chesterton, G.K.: Father Brown Omnibus. v5, 9 July 2009

The complete "Father Brown" stories of G.K.Chesterton. This omnibus contains the following books:

1. The Innocence of Father Brown
2. The Wisdom of Father Brown
3. The Incredulity of Father Brown
4. The Secret of Father Brown
5. The Scandal of Father Brown

More information (from "Wikipedia"): No real spoilers here, so feel free to read it!

Father Brown is a short, stumpy Catholic priest, "formerly of Cobhole in Essex, and now working in London", with shapeless clothes and a large umbrella, but an uncanny insight into human evil.

He makes his first appearance in the famous story "The Blue Cross" and continues through the five volumes of short stories, often assisted by the reformed criminal Flambeau.

Unlike his more famous co-detective Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown's methods tend to be intuitive rather than deductive. He explains his method in "The Secret of Father Brown": "You see, I had murdered them all myself... I had planned out each of the crimes very carefully. I had thought out exactly how a thing like that could be done, and in what style or state of mind a man could really do it. And when I was quite sure that I felt exactly like the murderer myself, of course I knew who he was."

Father Brown's abilities are also considerably shaped by his experience as a priest and confessor. In "The Blue Cross", when asked by Flambeau, who has been masquerading as a priest, how he knew of all sorts of criminal "horrors", he responds: "Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil?". He also states a reason why he knew Flambeau was not a priest: "You attacked reason. It's bad theology." And indeed, the stories normally contain a rational explanation of who the murderer was and how Brown worked it out.

Despite his devotion, or perhaps, because of it, Father Brown always emphasises rationality: some stories, such as "The Miracle of Moon Crescent" and "The Blast of the Book", poke fun at initially sceptical characters who become convinced of a supernatural explanation for some strange occurrence, while Father Brown, despite, or rather because of, his religion and his belief in God and miracles, easily sees the perfectly ordinary, natural explanation. In fact, he seems to represent an ideal of a devout, yet considerably educated and "civilised" clergyman.

Enjoy!

EDIT: 6 Nov 07

Uploaded v2. Improved formatting, preserved dashes.

EDIT: 23 MAR 08

Recreated the book to fix a problem with paragraph breaks. Uploaded v4.

EDIT: 9 Jul 09

Thoroughly proof-read the book against the Penguin edition of "The Complete Father Brown". Fixed several thousand errors as a result, and restored all the missing italics, accented letters, and other formatting which had been lost in the text-only source files. Uploaded v5.


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Last edited by HarryT; 07-09-2009 at 04:55 AM.
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