One of a growing number of Closes in Plymouth and one many in its neighbourhood to commemorate a great British writer this particular street owes its name to G.K. (Gilbert Keith) Chesterton a London-born critic, novelist and poet.
Educated at St. Paul’s School, he then studied art at Slade School, after which he used his artistic skills only to illustrate for the works of his friend Hilaire Belloc. His first writings were for periodicals, and throughout his life he wrote articles for The Bookman, The Speaker, The Illustrated London News and his own publication, G.K’s Weekly, which he started in 1925 having inherited the New Witness from his brother. Chesterton’s work makes for interesting reading, with his mastery of paradox and humour.
The earliest known books he wrote were the poetic anthologies The Wild Knight and Greybeards at Play (both published in 1900), and he went on to do the anti-Imperialist The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), Heretics (1908), and studies of his peers and predecessors like Robert Louis Stevenson. Converted to Catholicism in 1922, at the age of 48, Chesterton was then moved to write the lives of St Francis of Assisi and St Thomas Aquinas. He married Ada Elizabeth Jones, a journalist and writer, who did pioneering work for London’s homeless women. A colourful and provocative figure Chesterton died in 1936, his autobiography was published, posthumously, in the same year.