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The complete comic verse of one of the wittiest poets in the English language, spanning the full range of his poetry from children's rhymes to political satire.

Here is the distinctly surreal world of Henry King, who perished through his 'chief defect' of chewing little bits of string; of dishonest Matilda whose dreadful lies led her to death by burning; and of Godolphin Horne who 'held the human race in scorn' and ended as the boy 'who blacks the boots at the Savoy'.

Here too are the beautiful lyrics of longing and loss; the sonnets and epigrams; the hugely enjoyable Bad Child's Book of Beasts - not to mention More Beasts for Worse Children; and The Modern Traveller, one of the finest satirical poems in English.

Complete Verse reveals all of Hilaire Belloc's dazzling range and makes plain why he is one of the most truly popular poets of modern times.


The verses sing a multitude of memories. The wonder is, in finding them all collected, how profuse and pure a genius is here displayed

Evelyn Waugh, Spectator

What he possessed above all, as a versifier, was a remarkable technical adroitness, a ready talent for witty ideas and a gift for ironical and understated phrasemaking. He wears extremely well

Roy Fuller, Daily Telegraph

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Formats & editions

  • Complete Verse
    Hilaire Belloc



    September 30, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    336 pages

    Online retailers

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  • Complete Verse
    Hilaire Belloc

    Trade Paperback


    September 27, 1991


    336 pages

    RRP $36.99

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz