Background: When I was the editor of Gilbert Magazine, I was responsible for the “Tremendous Trifles” column. It was occasionally hard to find a sufficient amount of interesting GKC material to fill the page, so John Peterson sent me a file full of Chesterton ancedotes. They were idiosyncratic, historical, and Chestertonian. He gave me permission to use them here. I hope y’all find them as interesting as I have over the years. Most of them have never been published.
This from Brocard Sewells biography of Cecil Chesterton:
“Marie Chestertons maiden name was Grosjean. On her fathers side the family was Swiss, and was not very long settled in England; her mother was Scots, a descendant of the Earl Marshal Keith of whom there is a picture in the National Portrait Gallery. In all branches of the family one son in each generation was given the name Keith; which is how Gilbert Chesterton came to acquire it.”
No word, however, from Father Sewell on the inside story behind Gilbert’s first name. [Habit of a Lifetime, Whitefriars: Saint Alberts, 1975, 2]