A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)


"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Thomas Paine invented the name of the Age of Reason; and he was one of those sincere but curiously simple men who really did think that the age of reason was beginning, at about the time when it was really ending. Being a secularist of the most simple-minded sort, he naturally aroused angry passions at the moment, as does any poor fellow who stands on a chair and tries to heckle heaven in Hyde Park. But considering him in retrospect, the modern world will be more disposed to wonder at his belief than at his unbelief. The denial of Christianity is as old as Christianity; we might well say older. The anti-clerical will probably last as long as the Church, which will last as long as the world. But it is doubtful when we shall see again the positive side of Paine's philosophy; the part that was at once credulous and creative. It is impossible, alas, for us to believe that a Republic will put everything right, that elections everywhere will ensure equality for all. For him the Church was at best a beautiful dream and the Republic a human reality; today it is his Republic that is the beautiful dream. There was in that liberalism much of the leisure of the eighteenth-century aristocrats who invented it; and much of the sheltered seclusion also. The garden which Voltaire told a man to cultivate was really almost as innocent as the garden of Eden. But the young men who saw such visions were none the less seeing visions of paradise, though it was an earthly paradise. Rationalism is a romance of youth. There is nothing very much the matter with the age of reason; except, alas, that it comes before the age of discretion.
-William Cobbett (1925)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

This would be no place to enquire too closely why those bright youths who are so superior to eternity seem to be so subject and submissive to time; why they proclaim with such wild pagan gestures that they can pull down the Cross; but assure us, with such anxious and agitated motions, that we cannot put back the clock.
-July 13, 1935, Illustrated London News

Monday, October 17, 2016

..if a man thinks himself the pillar of righteousness, it is all the more spiritually dangerous for him the more it is approximately true. But if a modern artist thinks himself a beacon of blazing originality, that is less likely to be in any way flattered by the facts. That- as the Irish priest said to the lady who confessed she had thought much about her own beauty- that is not a sin, it is mistake.
-July 29, 1911, Daily News

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Politics are eternal and politicians luckily are not.
-January 1, 1910, Daily News

Monday, October 3, 2016

According to the Wikipedia article for The Man Who Was Thursday:
In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comics, the Library of Dream's castle contains every story ever written plus every story dreamed of but never written. Among the latter is The Man Who Was October by G. K. Chesterton, which is supposedly a sequel to his Thursday.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cats and Dogs

Cats are so beautiful that a creature from another star might fall in love with them, and so incalculable that he might kill them. Some of my friends take quite a high moral line about cats. Some, like Mr. Titterton, I think, admire a cat for its moral independence and readiness to scratch anybody "if he does not behave himself." Others, like Mr. Belloc, regard the cat as cruel and secret, a fit friend for witches; one who will devour everything, except, indeed, poisoned food, "so utterly lacking is it in Christian simplicity and humility." For my part, I have neither of these feelings. I admire cats as I admire catkins; those little fluffy things that hang on trees. They are both pretty and both furry, and both declare the glory of God. And this abstract exultation in all living things is truly to be called Love; for it is a higher feeling than mere affectional convenience; it is a vision. It is heroic, and even saintly, in this: that it asks for nothing in return. I love all the cats in the street as St. Francis of Assisi loved all the birds in the wood or all the fishes in the sea; not so much, of course, but then I am not a saint. But he did not wish to bridle a bird and ride on its back, as one bridles and rides on a horse. He did not wish to put a collar round a fish's neck, marked with the name "Francis," and the address "Assisi"—as one does with a dog. He did not wish them to belong to him or himself to belong to them; in fact, it would be a very awkward experience to belong to a lot of fishes. But a man does belong to his dog, in another but an equally real sense with that in which the dog belongs to him. The two bonds of obedience and responsibility vary very much with the dogs and the men; but they are both bonds. In other words, a man does not merely love a dog; as he might (in a mystical moment) love any sparrow that perched on his windowsill or any rabbit that ran across his path. A man likes a dog; and that is a serious matter.
-A Miscellany of Men (1912)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Foolish despotisms try to teach their servants seriousness: our wiser oligarchy teaches its servants levity.
-October 19, 1907, Daily News

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

And that sign, which Constantine saw in heaven above his eagles, should be enough in itself to convey that mystery of Christendom which must always be a menace to its enemies [...] There is but one religion which can only decorate even its triumphs with an emblem of defeat. There is only one army which carries the image of its own captain, not enthroned or riding, but captured and impaled.
-June 28, 1916, Daily News

Thursday, September 8, 2016

For continuous and systematic secrecy you need an advanced civilization. For continuous and systematic secrecy you need good taste and gentlemanly feeling and other unpleasant things. Above all, for continuous and systematic secrecy you need journalism.
-January 31, 1905, Daily News

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Winston Churchill with GKC

[...] in 1917 [Chesterton] was accompanying Winston Churchill (along with Churchill's cousin and GKC's secretary, Freda Spencer) to Warsash on the Solent to inspect seaplanes at Supermarine, Saunders-Roe and RNAS Calshot; Churchill had to rescue Freda when she fell into the Solent. It might be wondered what Gilbert's function was; possibly, together with more propaganda and recruiting speeches, he was also there in the capacity of a ghost-speechwriter for Churchill."
-G.K. Chesterton: A Reappraisal , Denis Conlon

Friday, September 2, 2016

"Mr. G.K. Chesterton is one of the great writers here." - Gandhi

I've referred to GKC's influence on Gandhi before, but now I've come across a direct quote from Gandhi mentioning Chesterton. It is quoted in an appendix ("Critical Judgments") in the book G.K. Chesterton: A Reappraisal by Denis Conlon, and he lists as the source Indian Opinion, January 1910 [presumably the article mentioned in the link above]. Here is the quote:
Mr. G.K. Chesterton is one of the great writers here. He is an Englishman of a liberal temper. Such is the perfection of his style that his writings are read by millions with great avidity. To "The Illustrated London News" of September 18, 1909 he has contributed an article on Indian awakening, which is worth studying. I believe that what he has said is reasonable."
 [A quick note: the date of the article in the American edition which came out two weeks later, and which date Ignatius Press uses in its volumes of Chesterton's ILN articles, is October 2, 1909.]

Thursday, September 1, 2016

An amusing anecdote :-)
After she had married and come to live at Overstrand Mansions, Annie [Firmin] recalled an evening when Chesterton came round to their flat on his way to dinner at the House of Commons with a shoe on one foot and a slipper on the other. Did it matter? Chesterton asked, when it was pointed out to him. 'I told him I was sure Frances would not like him to go out like that- the only argument to affect him'
-G.K. Chesterton: A Biography Ian Ker (2011), p.121