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Joseph Hilaire Pierre Belloc was the son of a French father and an English mother. During early childhood he lived in France, but was sent to Cardinal John Henry's Newmany Oratory School in England and received further education at Balliol College. Belloc served in the French military service, which greatly influenced him. He graduated there in 1895 with a first class honors in history.

Hilaire Belloc started writing at an early age. His first book, The Bad Child's Book of Beasts was published in 1896, the same year he married Elodie Hogan. He wrote about a variety of topics which include French and British history, military strategy, satire, comic and serious verse, literary criticism, travel, and religious, political and social commentary. In 1902, Belloc wrote his most famous work, "Path to Rome", which described a one man pilgrimage to the Holy City.

Belloc was also interested in politics and was elected to Parliament, as a literal, in 1906 and 1910. However, he left politics in order to start a new political review called Eye-Witness. He began this with his lifelong friends, G.K. and Cecil Chesteron. In the review the three of them attacked the English governmental system. Belloc, who revered Napoleon's efforts, worked to promote a unified Europe.

Tragedy hit Belloc in his later years.  His wife died in 1914 and his son Louis was killed in 1918 in World War I.  In 1941 his other son Peter died in World War II and Belloc suffered a severe stroke in 1942 which ended his literary work. He retired and lived alone for 11 years before his death in England in 1953.

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