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Hilaire Belloc's 151st Birthday

28 July 2020 11:33

Hilaire pierre rene belloc

1870 - 1953

Born in Paris on July 28th, 1870, to an English Mother and a French Father, Hilaire Pierre Rene Belloc, is not a name that many people have heard of. But take yourselves off to either Slindon, nr Arundel or Shipley, nr Horsham and you may well find some signs of his existence...

After moving to the safety of England, as a baby, to escape the Franco-Prussian War between July 1870 and May 1871, Belloc and his family returned to their home in France to find it completely vandalised by the German Troops who had occupied it during the war. Returning to England, after his Father's death, Belloc and his Mother and sister made their home in Slindon, nr Arundel in a house called The Grange, as the then highly fashionable London was sadly out of their league. It was here that Belloc developed his love of The South Country and began his prolific writing about it. Educated in Oxford, Belloc was blessed with debating skills and high energy and was highly opinionated. A man not shy to speak as he saw fit, he was also a great orator and writer and was adept with his diversity of knowledge, both depth and breadth. Genres from French and British history, through to satire and comic verse, Belloc also wrote about topography and travel, religion and social and political commentary. And yet, how many of us have actually heard of him, let alone know of his writings...