the essence of those Eastern flats


Senior Member
Hi all,

What does the bold phrase mean?

When it came to the last case, Valentin gave it up and almost laughed. The little priest was so much the essence of those Eastern flats; he had a face as round and dull as a Norfolk dumpling; he had eyes as empty as the North Sea; he had several brown paper parcels, which he was quite incapable of collecting. The Eucharistic Congress had doubtless sucked out of their local stagnation many such creatures, blind and helpless, like moles disinterred.

Thanks in advance,
The Innocence of Father Brown
The Blue Cross
G. K. Chesterton
  • Barque

    Norfolk is in eastern England, and I suppose Valentin thought Father Brown had the character of the flat areas of that eastern region in his looks.
    Valentin is travelling through Essex, not Norfolk; he has debarked at Harwich, and is taking the train (probably via Colchester...) to London. However, that being said, the landscape in that part of Essex is indeed fairly flat and level.