Father Brown, one of the most quirkily genial and lovable characters to emerge from English detective fiction, first made his appearance in The Innocence of Father Brown in 1911. That first collection of stories established G.K. Chesterton's kindly cleric in the front rank of eccentric sleuths.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 - 1936) studied art at Slade School and literature at University College London before ending his studies early without qualifications. From 1900 he worked his way to become a freelance art and literary critic then a regular columnist and later a prolific writer (he has many essays, poems, short stories, novels and plays to his name). Forty eight of the Father Brown short stories first appeared in various, now unknown, magazines and were later collected into five books: The Innocence of Father Brown, published in 1911; The Wisdom of Father Brown, published in 1914; The Incredulity of Father Brown, published in 1926; The Secrets of Father Brown, published in 1927; and The Scandal of Father Brown, published in 1935. This edition also includes 'The Doddington Affair', the first half of which was published in Premier Magazines in 1914 with the challenge to G. K. Chesterton to finish and solve the mystery. He did so in the following issue. 'The Vampire of the Village', which also appears in this edition under The Scandal of Father Brown, was first published in 1936.