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Hilary A. Belloc papers

Collection MS-1998-004: Hilary A. Belloc papers


  • Creation: approximately 1865-1997
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1907 - 1939

Scope and Contents

The papers of Hilary A. Belloc contain correspondence, photographs, and materials primarily related to his father, French-born British author Hilaire Belloc. Additional materials include Hilary A. Belloc's passport and diploma from McGill University. The correspondence is primarily between Hilary and his father though it also includes other family members.


Language of Materials


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Hilary A. Belloc was born the fourth of five children to Hilaire and Elodie Belloc in 1902. When Elodie died in 1914 his father never remarried. Hilary attended Balliol College at Oxford University in 1921 but was expelled within a year of his acceptance.

In 1923 Hilary was able to secure a position in a publishing firm in New York with the help of his father. He didn’t remain long in New York, and made his way to California to take up residence with his mother’s family, the Hogans, in San Francisco. It was there that he met Hope, his future wife. Although Hilary apparently shared his father’s wanderlust, he felt no affinity toward his father’s faith in the Catholic Church. On the contrary, Hilary and Hope, who adopted a son in the 1930s, named him Martin Luther Belloc.

By 1932 Hilary graduated from McGill University in Canada with a degree in engineering and a focus on mining. He worked in mining, but ultimately returned to California where he made a living building roads and malls. Like his father, Hilary was an avid sailor, and in 1940 even served in the Royal Reserve Navy in Nova Scotia. According to Lara McKenna, Hilary was also like his father in his “love of good wine... and endless visits with friends,” and in his association with contemporary literary figures and artists such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kenneth Rexroth, Henry Miller, Jean Varda, and Alan Watts.

Hilary and his surviving siblings were with their father at King’s Land in Sussex on July 16, 1953, when he died at the age of eighty-two. Hilary and Hope continued to live in California, until her death in 1970, and his in 1977. They are both buried at the Hogan family plot in the Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, California.


Lara McKenna, letter to Dr. Robert K. O’Neill, 12 January 1998.

Pearce, Joseph. Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 2002. pp. 86-206.

Speaight, Robert. The Life of Hilaire Belloc: A Memoir. London: Hollis and Carter. 1957. pp.188-506.

Wilson, A. N. Hilaire Belloc. London: Hamish Hamilton. 1984. pp. 115-386.


1.5 Linear Feet (4 containers)


Papers document the family life of twentieth-century American Hilary A. Belloc. They contain correspondence, photographs, writings, and documents mainly related to his father, French-born British author Hilaire Belloc.


Arranged into four series: I. Correspondence, II. Official documents, III. Photographic materials, and IV. Writings.

Series III is arranged into three subseries: A. Photographs, B. Portraits, and C. Postcards, Belloc family.


The bulk of materials included in this collection were purchased from Michael Good Books, San Anselmo, California, in November 1997.

The rest of this collection appears to have been either appended to the purchase from Michael Good Books, or donated directly to the Burns Library by Lara McKenna, on whose behalf Michael Good Books appears to have been brokering.

Related Materials

Arthur MacGillivray, S.J. collection of twentieth-century authors, BC.1991.053, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Belloc Family correspondence, MS.1996.028, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Belloc Family correspondence, MS.2007.008, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Belloc Family correspondence and administrative documents, MS.2007.009, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Bessie Rayner Parkes Belloc - Kelsey Family collection, MS.1998.027, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Elodie Hogan Belloc correspondence, MS.2007.005, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Herbert Family - Hilaire Belloc correspondence, MS.1991.003, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Hilaire Belloc papers, MS.2005.002, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Hilaire Belloc papers, MS.2005.003, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Hilaire Belloc papers, MS.2007.012, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Hoffman Nickerson - Hilaire Belloc collection, MS.1988.008, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Patrick Cahill collection of Belloc and Chesterton materials, MS.1986.138, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Hilary A. Belloc Papers
approximately 1865-1997 (bulk 1907-1939)
David Tennant, Amy Braitsch
2007 Summer - 2008 Spring
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States