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Hilaire Belloc correspondence

Collection MS-2005-002: Hilaire Belloc correspondence


  • Creation: 1889-1948, undated

Scope and Contents

The Hilaire Belloc correspondence documents Belloc's personal and professional life as an author. It includes letters to and from Hilaire Belloc with publishers, literary agents, newspapers, family, and friends.


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

The French-born British author Joseph Hilaire Peter Belloc was born in Celle Saint-Cloud, France, on July 27, 1870. In 1896 Hilaire married Elodie Hogan, an American, and they had three sons and two daughters: Louis (1897), Eleanor (1899), Elizabeth (1900), Hilary (1902), and Peter (1904). Belloc began his literary career with Verses and Sonnets (1895). He next published The Bad Child’s Book of Beasts (1896), a collection of nonsense verse that was so popular it sold out in four days. Belloc then produced a series of biographies that included Danton (1899) and Robespierre (1901). In 1902 he published Path to Rome, which is perhaps his most representative work for its combination of Belloc’s love for travel, as well as his fierce Roman Catholicism. It recounts Belloc’s journey on foot from Toul, France to Rome, Italy.

In 1906 Belloc was elected to the House of Commons in England as the representative for South Salford, a seat that he held until 1910. He left his political career to pursue journalism, founding the political journal, New Witness, with G. K. Chesterton. His political broadsides written with Chesterton and his brother, Cecil, were popularly known as the “Chesterbellocs.” Belloc also served as editor of Land and Water, a journal devoted to the progress of the First World War, from 1914 to 1920. Elodie Belloc died in 1914, and Belloc’s eldest son, Louis, was killed in 1918 while serving in World War I. Belloc’s youngest son, Peter, a captain in the Royal Marines, would later die during World War II.

Belloc was decorated with the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great in 1934 by Pope Pius XI for his devotion to Catholicism as a writer. That same year, he was also awarded an honorary Master of Arts from Oxford University. Belloc published prolifically over the course of his life. He wrote 153 books of essays, fiction, history, biography, and poetry, as well as numerous articles for periodicals.

He continued to travel extensively until suffering a stroke in 1942. He died on July 16, 1953.


A.N. Wilson Hilaire Belloc: A Biography, Atheneum: New York, 1984.


83.5 Linear Feet (203 containers)

Language of Materials



Documents the correspondence of French-born British author Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953).


Arranged alphabetically.


These materials were acquired by the university in 1981-1982 through a purchase from the Hilaire Belloc estate. They were originally accessioned as MS.1986.065, but have subsequently been assigned accession number MS.2005.002.

Related Materials

Arthur MacGillivray, S.J. collection of twentieth-century authors, BC.1991.053

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

Belloc family correspondence, MS.2007.007, 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.

Hilary A. Belloc papers, MS.1998.004, 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.

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

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

Maurice Baring papers, MS.1996.041, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

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

Hilaire Belloc Correspondence
1889-1948, undated
George R. Fuir, S. J.; Philip Kiley, S. J.; Francis Vye, S. J.; Matthew Heitzman; Corbin Rhodes; and David Tennant
2006 July; updated 2008 April 22
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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