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)

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"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.




Friday, September 22, 2017

[...] a man teaches a great deal by what he does not teach.
-May 12, 1905 Daily News

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fr. Ronald Knox and Orson Welles's broadcast of The War of the Worlds

Interesting anecdote concerning Fr. Ronald Knox (who, given his close friendship with GKC, it seems this blog is an appropriate place to post this):
In January 1926, for one of his regular BBC Radio programmes, our hero broadcast a simulated live report of revolution sweeping across London entitled Broadcasting from the Barricades. In addition to live reports of several people, including a government minister, being lynched, his broadcast mixed supposed band music from the Savoy Hotel with the hotel’s purported destruction by trench mortars. The Houses of Parliament and the clock tower were also said to have been flattened. Because the broadcast occurred on a snowy weekend, much of the United Kingdom was unable to get the newspapers until days later. The lack of newspapers caused a minor panic, as it was believed that this was caused by the events in London.

A 2005 BBC report on the broadcast suggests that the innovative style of our heroe’s programme may have influenced Orson Welles’s radio broadcast “The War of the Worlds” (1938), which foreshadowed it in its consequences. In an interview for the book This is Orson Welles, Welles himself said that the broadcast gave him the idea for “The War of the Worlds”! [emphasis mine] [source]
I had been aware of "Broadcasting the Barricades" before as well as the speculation that it influenced Orson Welles' broadcast, but I had been unaware until now that Welles himself stated it gave him the idea. (Of course, less than two months before his "War of the Worlds" broadcast, Orson Welles had done a broadcast of GKC's novel The Man Who Was Thursday.)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

If there is any blunder which the past made carelessly, the present will reduplicate [it] carefully. Social reform, as now understood, seems to mean turning all our most antiquated sins into a system.
-October 12, 1912, Illustrated London News

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Press is no longer holding up a dim or dusty or cracked mirror to the world; it is simply painting a sort of mad picture of the world, which is a pastiche of a hundred pictures of anything or nothing, most of them badly painted and all of them badly chosen
-February 15, 1930, G.K's Weekly
[H/T American Chesterton Society]

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Princess Diana and Maurice Baring

From the latest issue of Gilbert (July/Aug 2017), this interesting fact concerning one of Chesterton's best friends (featured with him and Belloc in the painting The Conversation Piece), Maruice Baring
[...] Baring's sister, the Honorable Margaret Baring, was married to Charles Spencer, the 6th Earl Spencer, and their great-granddaughter was none other than Diana, Princess of Wales which makes Maurice Baring her great-great uncle.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

James Mattis quoting GKC

Secretary of Defense James Mattis quoted GKC in the opening of a speech he gave last week:
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. G.K. Chesterton once said: “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water, and yet drink death like wine.”
Senator Peters, Deputy Secretary Shanahan, Secretary Speer – wonderful words. General Milley, great words. Sergeant Major Dailey, but most of all, to Charlie Tigers and Specialist Five Jim McCloughan... Cherie, you married well to a most wonderful person. They met at the Messiah, a reminder for all you young troops to go to church. [Source]
 [H/T American Chesterton Society]

Thursday, August 10, 2017

It is much more likely that people's favourite actor really is their favourite actor than the politician they support is really the politician they admire.
-Introduction to The New World of the Theatre
[H/T American Chesterton Society)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

[...] of all poetical publications the most poetical is a daily paper. The real objection to a daily paper is, of course, that it is too poetical. It is congested with poetry. It is a chaos of stars and sunshine, a confusion of the flowers and the sea. It is two hundred splendid books mixed up at once; so that the reader of that bewildering masterpiece loses the thread of all of them. It is impossible at once to keep in tune with the pantomime of a Government inquiry and the tragedy of a suicide at Wandsworth; but surely this is not from any lack of poetry in them [...]
-October 1, 1903, Daily News

Friday, July 14, 2017

But the influence of children goes further than its first trifling effort of remaking heaven and earth. It forces us actually to remodel our conduct in accordance with this revolutionary theory of the marvellousness of all things. We do (even when we are perfectly simple or ignorant)—we do actually treat talking in children as marvellous, walking in children as marvellous, common intelligence in children as marvellous. The cynical philosopher fancies he has a victory in this matter—that he can laugh when he shows that the words or antics of the child, so much admired by its worshippers, are common enough. The fact is that this is precisely where baby-worship is so profoundly right. Any words and any antics in a lump of clay are wonderful, the child's words and antics are wonderful, and it is only fair to say that the philosopher's words and antics are equally wonderful.

The truth is that it is our attitude towards children that is right, and our attitude towards grown-up people that is wrong. Our attitude towards our equals in age consists in a servile solemnity, overlying a considerable degree of indifference or disdain. Our attitude towards children consists in a condescending indulgence, overlying an unfathomable respect. We bow to grown people, take off our hats to them, refrain from contradicting them flatly, but we do not appreciate them properly. We make puppets of children, lecture them, pull their hair, and reverence, love, and fear them. When we reverence anything in the mature, it is their virtues or their wisdom, and this is an easy matter. But we reverence the faults and follies of children.
The Defendant (1901)

Monday, July 10, 2017

[Browning] had the one great requirement of a poet—he was not difficult to please. The life of society was superficial, but it is only very superficial people who object to the superficial. To the man who sees the marvellousness of all things, the surface of life is fully as strange and magical as its interior; clearness and plainness of life is fully as mysterious as its mysteries. The young man in evening dress, pulling on his gloves, is quite as elemental a figure as any anchorite, quite as incomprehensible, and indeed quite as alarming.
-Robert Browning (1903)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Romance, indeed, does not consist by any means so much in experiencing adventures as in being ready for them. How little the actual boy cares for incidents in comparison to tools and weapons may be tested by the fact that the most popular story of adventure is concerned with a man who lived for years on a desert island with two guns and a sword, which he never had to use on an enemy.
-Twelve Types (1902)

Friday, June 30, 2017

"Children cannot treat parents as authorities whom authorities treat as slaves."

Every kind of bureaucratic busybody has swarmed round the poor man's house until his whole authority in it has been hollowed out and eaten away. Children cannot treat parents as authorities whom authorities treat as slaves. The consequence is that nearly the whole normal business of looking after children has passed from the parents to the policeman.
-March 24, 1923, Illustrated London News