Books: God's Grumpy Man

LETTERS FROM HILAIRE BELLOC (313 pp.)—Edited by Robert Speaight—McMillan ($6).

"I myself write the best letters."

—Hilaire Belloc

These days, when getting a well-written letter in the mail is as rare as getting a refund from the tax collector, many readers will be happy to agree with Belloc's own estimate of himself. A self-described mixture of "Poverty, Papistry and Pugnacity," Belloc (who died in 1953) had a solemn high literary funeral last year in an authorized biography (TIME, April 22, 1957). Biographer Speaight found leftover material too good to forget, notably a big bundle of crotchety letters—which are a long way from the sort...

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