This article’s shows come out of the Cotswold region and County Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne in England. They are both period pieces examining mid twentieth century England and legal practices of the time. “George Gently” and “Father Brown” are characters from the book series by the authors G. K. Chesterton and Alan Hunter. Father Brown is a Catholic priest and is the imagination of Chesterton. His village is set in the Cotswolds in the 1950s. George Gently is a character from the novels by Alan Hunter.
G.K. Chesterton is an English author credited with 80 books, 2,000 short stories and 4,000 essays published in the daily newspaper and a play or two. He is known for his broad swath of knowledge of current events, philosophy and theology and is remarkably quotable nearly a century after his death. Contemporaries such as George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde were his friends much like the informal literary group which formed a few years later known as the Inklings which included Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Chesterton’s writings tended toward the religious and reflected this in his short stories about Father Brown.
Father Brown is a fictional character based upon a real parish priest by the name of Rt. Rev. Msgr. John O’Connor. O’Connor was instrumental in Chesterton’s conversion to Catholicism in 1922. The character has been played by 13 different actors from 5 different countries. The short mystery stories have been continued by other authors, including 44 more mysteries by John Peterson. An Italian author, Paolo Gulisano, writes his novel on the destiny of Father Brown by electing him Pope named Innocent XIV. Father Brown’s most recent version, starring Mark Williams, is now in filming for its 9th season. The books and series can be checked out from your Abilene Public Library in multiple formats.
Alan Hunter was a prolific English writer spanning the entire latter half of the 20th century. In total he wrote 46 novels featuring Inspector George Gently from 1955-1998. The novels are set in Norfolk, but the TV series is set in the north in County Durham, England. The setting is beautiful but plays in opposition to the dastardly crimes that face his character, George Gently. The television series is a period piece that begins in 1964 and ends in 1970 after eight seasons.
Inspector George Gently began his career as a London cop and left to retire to a quieter location after the traumatic death of his wife. He soon finds himself continuing his professional career in a small town in County Durham with an over eager, under talented sidekick named Bacchus. The twilight of his career, while less stressful than a London beat, still holds many complex cases for him to solve. Hoopla contains all eight series of George Gently.
If these series and/or authors intrigue you, come by your Abilene Public Library and let us help you find these, or others like them. All you need is your library card, which is free to all who live within the city limits of Abilene. It is, indeed, the smartest card in your wallet, and we can help you put it to its best use!
Article Contributed by Janet Bailey, Technical Services Manager, Main Library