Fr Peter Milward, SJ
We tend to think of 1974 as the year that the Chestertonian Revival began, the year of G.K.C.’s centenary, with the Spode House conference, the foundation of the Society and the Review, and of John Sullivan’s A Centenary Appraisal. Peter Milward’s chapter in the Appraisal showed us that Chesterton was already known and appreciated in Japan, thanks to Soseki (1907) and Hakuson (1909), the Kyoto school and that at Keio University, Tokyo, and (after World War II) his own Sophia University. There was a Chesterton Society in Japan (founded by Peter) since 1966! His many publications included his Introduction to Chesterton’s collected Essays on Shakespeare, “In Search of the Middle Ages” (about the Road to Santiago) and “The Catholicism of Shakespeare’s Plays”, along with his memoirs “Admissions of an Absent-Minded Author”.
He ended his chapter by quoting some of his students’ essays on G.K.C., and sent many more as articles to the Review thereafter. May the last word come from one student: “Gilbert Keith Chesterton is like an orange juice that people drink in the morning. It is an eye-opener; and he opened my eyes widely and helped me see the world.” Or, as a Jesuit might put it, “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.”
Trustee of the G.K. Chesterton Library