Avowals and Denials is a collection of articles by Chesterton first published in 1934. Is it possible to know when each individual article was first published?
Yes, this is straightforward (if somewhat tedious). Avowals and Denials begins with a note:
The essays of which this book is composed are reprinted, often with slight alterations, from the Illustrated London News, by kind permission of the proprietors of that paper.
The original dates can thus be found using the British Newspaper Archive. This would normally require a subscription, but since you don’t actually need to see the contents of the articles (only their dates, which are shown to non-subscribers) you should be able to find them by searching for distinctive phrases found in the articles.
For example, ‘On Monsters and Logic’ ends with the sentence:
But a man might as well say that millers and cats and princesses are fabulous animals, because they appear side by side with goblins and mermaids in the stories of the nursery.
If you search the BNA for the phrase ‘goblins and mermaids’ (remembering to tick the ‘Exact search’ box), then there is just one result, for Saturday 6th January 1934.
For completeness, I leave here the straightforward and tedious search.
- Monsters and logic 6 january 1934
- On Christmas that is coming 23 December 1933
- On the man on the spot 26 August 1933
- On Shaw and his back girl 31 December 1932
- On the atheist museum 19 November 1932
- On the new prudery 11 March 1933
- On the return of the barbarian 5 August 1933
- On women who vote 13 May 1933
- On the fallacy of eugenics 9 December 1933
- On the classicism of the terror 6 May 1933
- On the return to the land 12 August 1933
- On dialect and decency 16 December 1933
- On man: heir of all the ages 7 January 1933
- On the real animal 1 July 1933
- On dogs with bad names 26 November 1932
- On the prison of Jazz 19 April 1933
- On the deceptibility of youth 20 January 1934
- On the Duke of Marlborough 28 October 1933
- On the Crank and the Cad 14 January 1933
- On Dreams 4 February 1933
- On the Fossil of a Fanatic 10 February 1934
- On Blake and his Critics 21 October 1933
- On the Instability of the State 17 June 1933
- On a Melodrama 11 February 1933
- On the One-Party System 27 January 1934
- On books for pessimists 18 February 1933
- On the science of sociology 15 April 1933
- On the Letter-Bag Novel 8 April 1933
- On the Touchy Realist 4 March 1933
- On Wordsworth 30 December 1933
- On Facing Facts 29 April 1933
- On Free Verse 18 March 1933
- On Eric Gill 10 June 1933
- On Prussian Paganism 23 September 1933
- On the Great Relapse 25 March 1933
- On the Next Hundred Years 22 July 1933