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Europe And The Faith
by Hilaire Belloc
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Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (1870-1953) was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. His best travel writing has secured a permanent following. The Path to Rome (1902), an account of a walking pilgrimage he made from central France across the Alps and down to Rome, has remained continuously in print. More than a mere travelogue, The Path to Rome contains descriptions of the people and places he encountered, his drawings in pencil and in ink of the route, humour, poesy, and the reflections of a large mind turned to the events of his time as he marches along his solitary way. At every turn, Belloc shows himself to be profoundly in love with Europe and with the Faith that he claims has produced it. Two of his best known non-fiction works are The Servile State (1912) and Europe and Faith (1920).
What followed was a whole series of generations in which the forms of civilization were set and crystallized in a few very simple, traditional and easily appreciated types. The whole standard of Europe was lowered to the level of its fundamentals, as it were. The primary arts upon which we depend for our food and drink, and raiment and shelter survived intact. The secondary arts reposing upon these, failed and disappeared almost in proportion to their distance from fundamental necessities of our race. History became no more than a simple chronicle. Letters, in the finer sense, almost ceased.
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