W. R. Titterton

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William Richard Titterton (1876–1963) was a British journalist, writer and poet now remembered as the friend and first biographer of G. K. Chesterton. Titterton and Chesterton met on the London Daily News.[1]

Early life[edit]

In his younger days, he wrote copiously for A. R. Orage's The New Age. He was the model for some of Jacob Epstein's nude sculptures; he modelled too for George Grey Barnard, for the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania courthouse.[2]

The Weekly and the League[edit]

Titterton was in practical terms the organiser of Chesterton's Distributist League, and sub-editor of G. K.'s Weekly.

There were financial problems, and embarrassment caused by Titterton's commissioning of articles on H. G. Wells by the lesser writer Edwin Pugh; Pugh's articles had a hostile edge and Chesterton had to pacify Wells.[3] His position on the Weekly came to an end in 1928, when he was replaced by Edward Macdonald,[4] in a temporarily acrimonious situation, leading to the separation of the Weekly and the League.[5]

Under Chesterton's influence, he became a Catholic convert in 1931.[6]


  • River Music and other poems (1900)
  • Love Poems (New Age Press, c 1908)
  • An Afternoon Tea Philosophy (1910)
  • The Drifters (1910)
  • Me As A Model (1914)
  • London Scenes (1918)
  • Guns and Guitars (1918) poems
  • Drinking Songs and other songs (1928)
  • A Candle to the Stars (1932) interviews
  • G. K. Chesterton: A Portrait (1936) biography, Online text (PDF)
  • Poems for the Forces (1943)
  • London Pride (1944)
  • So this is Shaw (1945) biography
  • Poems: A Backward Glance (1959)


  1. ^ Titterton, G. K. Chesterton, p.75.
  2. ^ New York Times, 20 December 1914
  3. ^ Maisie Ward, Gilbert Keith Chesterton (2005 edition), p. 365.
  4. ^ Joseph Pearce, Wisdom and Innocence (1996), p. 358.
  5. ^ Alzina Stone Dale, The Outline of Sanity: A Biography of G. K. Chesterton (2005), p. 267.
  6. ^ Joseph Pearce, Literary Converts (1999), p. 190.