Gilbert Keith Chesterton (May 29, 1874 – June 14, 1936) was one of the most influential English writers of the 20th century. His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction.
Chesterton has been called the "prince of paradox". Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out." For example, Chesterton wrote the following: "Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it."
Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an "orthodox" Christian, and came to identify such a position with Catholicism more and more, eventually converting to Roman Catholicism. George Bernard Shaw, Chesterton's "friendly enemy" according to Time, said of him, "He was a man of colossal genius."
Chesterton is well known for his reasoned apologetics and even those who disagree with him have recognized the universal appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man, the latter of which contributed to C. S. Lewis's conversion to Christianity. In a letter, Lewis called the book "the best popular apologetic I know", and that "the [very] best popular defence of the full Christian position I know is G. K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man." The book was also cited in a list of 10 books that "most shaped his vocational attitude and philosophy of life."