“I had murdered them all myself.” Father Brown perhaps comes closest to true, biblical mystery. While a crime may have been solved, the good padre still wondered after the human penchant toward sin. Sherlock Holmes fans are used to deductive reasoning; a scientific analysis, assessing problems from the outside, in. Father Brown became the murderer because he was a murderer. Chesterton’s sleuth, a Catholic priest, saw people as they were, from the inside out. The mystery of our own nature continues: “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.”
In this paper I will seek to weave Chesterton’s views of inherent human corruption with his thinking, principally through Father Brown. Dorothy Sayers’ introduction to The Omnibus of Crime wonders aloud about human desire for tales of horror: “What a piece of work is man that he should enjoy this kind of thing! A very off piece of work – indeed, a mystery.”
"Devils in My Heart: Chesterton's View of Human Nature through Father Brown,"
Inklings Forever: Published Colloquium Proceedings 1997-2016: Vol. 7
, Article 4.
Available at: https://pillars.taylor.edu/inklings_forever/vol7/iss1/4