F, L and P from the Index of “Eugenics and Other Evils”, GK Chesterton

J G Ballard, in his 1977 short story The Index,  told the story of one of the Twentieth Century’s most influential men: Henry Rhodes Hamilton … the only trace of whom left is the eponymous index.

For some reason G K Chesterton’s index for Eugenics and Other Evils reminded me of Rhodes Hamilton. Were the text of Chesterton’s book to vanish from the earth, you could do a good job reconstructing it from the tone and tenor of the index. Some selections:


Fabians, and Socialism, 160

Feeble-Minded Bill, the, Eugenists and, 17, 18, 19, 20, 28, 51, 52

Feeble-mindedness, Dr. Saleeby on, 61 , hereditary, 62, 63

Flogging, revival of, 25

Foulon, and the French peasants, 103

Freedom, Christianity and, 10

Free-will disbelieved by Eugenists, 52



Law, the,

– and restrictions on sex, 10

– and the indeterminate sentence, 35

– and the lunatic, 31 et seq. 

Libel, definition of, 28

– loose extension of idea of, 27-8

Liberty and scepticism, 148

– the eclipse of, 149 et seq. 

– the Eugenist’s view of, 16

Lodge, Sir Oliver, and “the stud farm,” 13, 14

Lunacy, and Eugenic legislation, 17-20, 28, 29, 31 et seq. 

– medical specialists as judges of, 40, 41

Lunacy Law, the old, 38

Lunacy Laws, the, extension of principle of, 17

Lunatic, the, and the law, 31 et seq. 

Lunatics, difference between criminals and, 34, 35


Pagan slave, the, difference between Christian serf and, 102

Pearson, Dr. Karl, 50, 65, 181

Peasant art, comic songs as an instance of, 170

Persecution, author’s views on, 77 et seq.

“Platonic friendship,” 138

Politics in the Middle Ages, 92

Post Office, the State, 161  twin model of, 162

Precedenters, the, 17

Press, the, criticisms of, 73, 169

Prevention not better than cure, 55

Preventive medicine, fallacy of, 55

Prison system, the, 162

Procreation, prevention of, 138

Profiteering, author on, 124

“Proletarian art,” 169

Property, author’s views on, 160

Punishment, extension of, 25

Puritanical moral stories, immorality of, 126



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