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)

Finally, not directly Chesterton related, but I highly recommend the following websites

M.G.D.'s website is where you can learn the latest concerning the Marcus series of novels, as well as other great writing!

Mardi Robyn, run by my great friend Mardi, is an excellent site for handmade jewelry and accessories that you'll love! Also make sure to visit Rockin' Robyn Boutique

Please make sure to visit those sites! (And remember, it is very Chestertonian to support small businesses!)

Thursday, April 15, 2021

[B]ecause our expression is imperfect we need friendship to fill up the imperfections.
-June 6, 1931, Illustrated London News
[H/T Society of G.K. Chesterton]

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Illustrated London News, January 14, 1911 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

The ordinary opinion of a vast number of poor, hard-working men on any matter concerning their own lives would be the most valuable opinion which it would be humanly possible to get on that subject, but the difficulty is to get that opinion. The men are too hard-working to be politicians, too poor to exercise power, so the democracy is run according to the pretensions of the educated who are incapable of seeing things as they are and follow the intellectual fads of the moment."
(Reported in the Montreal Gazette, Feb. 17, 1921)
(H/T Society of G.K. Chesterton)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

"The severe theological credo was replaced by a severe social veto."

One special form of the harm done by the extreme sects in the seventeenth century was this: that they really died young, and that what has infected our culture since has not been their life, or even their death, but rather their decay. In most cases the Puritans lost their religion and retained their morality; a deplorable state of things for anybody. If the special narrow theologies had not perished rapidly as they did, the atmospheric moral mood would not have lingered on exactly in the way it did. But, above all, it permitted of a process which seems to me one of the strangest and most interesting in human history; but which does not seem as yet to have been noticed by historians. It is rather like the geological process of the formation of a fossil. Every one knows that a fossil fish is not a fish; nor a fossil bird a bird. I do not mean merely in the obvious sense: that we should be surprised, nay annoyed, in a restaurant, if we asked for a fish and they gave us a stone. I mean that a fossil is a form, in which remains no actual fragment of a fish. It is a hollow mould or image of a fish, which is very gradually filled up by the infiltration of something else, after the actual fish has decayed. Thus we find the general outline of these stony and very literal faiths filled up by something else when the old fanaticism has decayed....

The point is perhaps clearest in the case of Prohibition. The old original Puritans were not Prohibitionists. Oliver Cromwell was a brewer; but he was not inspired or intoxicated by beer, nor (like the teetotallers) inspired and intoxicated by the absence of beer. Whatever his faults, he did most certainly have a real religion, in the sense of a creed. But it was a sombre creed, one which had been made intentionally more stern and ruthless than the other creeds; and this created a new mood and moral atmosphere, which ultimately spread all over the great plains of Puritan America. Now the point is this: that as the creed crumbled slowly as a creed, its place was taken by something vaguer but of the same general spirit. The severe theological credo was replaced by a severe social veto. You can put it another way if you like, and say that America tolerated Prohibition, not because America was Puritan, but because America had been Puritan. The idea of morality that came to prevail till lately at least, was in every sense a survival of Puritanism, even if it was also in a sense a substitute for Puritanism. That is the essential history of that curious episode; the teetotal ethic of modern times. Prohibition was not a part of the origin of Puritanism; none the less, Prohibition was a thing of Puritan origin.

-Avowals and Denials (1934)

Sunday, March 14, 2021

What is specially shameful and pitiless in modern punishment is not the severity of the punishment; it is the continuity of the punishment. The modern philosophers say that they do not like the idea of everlasting punishment in the other world. Let them rest content. They have created everlasting punishment in this world. What is frightful about modern punishment is exactly that it is as logical as Calvinism. Its horror is that it is rational, that it remembers, that it treats the man who has broken trust as for ever untrustworthy. There may be something in this which pleases those who have Calvinistic, Materialistic, or Theosophical minds, minds that enjoy the recurrence of an unforgiving, that is, a dead, law. But you and I only have the tradition of Christian charity, and we should say, Beat the man about with a great stick and then let him go free for ever.
-Lunacy and Letters (1958)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

"The Superstitions of the Sceptic" by GKC now available

Yesterday I published via Amazon's KDP a copy of Chesterton' book (long out of print) "The Superstitions of the Sceptic", originally published in 1925. (It is a small book, and you can read more about it here )

I got a copy of the original edition book back in 2014, and it was expensive. The cheapest copy I could find at the time was $25; all the others were at least $50. So I typed it up then with the intent of making it more widely and easily available. I wasn't sure about its copyright status in the US (i.e., if it was ever renewed; doubtful as that seemed, I wasn't sure, nor did I know how to find out.) So I emailed what I typed up to Martin Ward in England, where I knew it was out of copyright. That way he could put it on his wonderful website of GKC texts (this particular book being found here) so at least it would be available on the Internet for those places where it was out of copyright. (Prior to that, I don't think it was even available online as an etext; at least I could never find it, no matter how much I searched.)

Anyway, since a few weeks ago, on "public domain day" (January 1), all books originally published in 1925 that were not already in the public domain entered the public domain (in the US), I decided over the weekend to publish this book since now I knew for sure it was out of copyright. (For some odd reason, it still had not been available even as a print-on-demand book, even though it was certainly out of copyright by now.)

The book comes in a Kindle edition and a print edition (66 pages for the latter); I set the prices at the lowest possible price Amazon would allow, so that the Kindle edition is 99 cents, and the print edition is $3.58. You can find them here:

Kindle edition


Print edition 

As of this moment, there is no inside preview available, but hopefully that will change within the next few days. 

(Please forgive any mistakes that may be found; I am most certainly not a professional! I tried to correct the typos from my original typing up of the text, and which can still be found in the etext on Martin Ward's site, but no doubt I didn't find them all.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Being a pop culture illiterate, I do not know anything about the band, but apparently the drummer for the "Dropkick Murphys", Matt Kelly, has stated on his Instagram that G.K. Chesterton is his favorite author:
Happy birthday to the Prince of Paradox, the Apostle of Common Sense, the man whose face adorns my kick drum... no, not Wilford Brimly, not Teddy Roosevelt, I mean G.K. Chesterton. My favorite author and source of daily inspiration. On this day in 1874 Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in Kensington, London, England. “The first fact about the celebration of a birthday is that it is a way of affirming defiantly, and even flamboyantly, that it is a good thing to be alive….But there is a second fact about Birthdays, and the birth-song of all creation, a fact which really follows on this; but which, as it seems to me, the other school of thought almost refuses to recognize. The point of that fact is simply that it is a fact. In being glad about my Birthday, I am being glad about something which I did not myself bring about.” GKC 3/21/1935

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The revolt against culture is often the last fashion of the cultured.
-Chesterton on Shakespeare (1971)

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Of all such educational processes, the hardest and apparently the most hopeless is the education of the educated They resist education more than anybody else; and they need it more than anybody else.
-May 16, 1916, Illustrated London News

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

[A] ritual is almost the opposite of a routine [...] The essence of real ritual is that a man does something because it signifies something; it may be stiff or slow or ceremonial in form; that depends on the nature of the artistic form that is used. But he does it because it is significant. It is the essence of routine that he does it because it is insignificant.
December 21, 1935 Illustrated London News

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Patricia Heaton on GKC

Patricia Heaton posted the following tweet the day before yesterday:


"I’ve been reading #GKChesterton at night before falling asleep. If you want to be transported out of this vulgar, hate-spewing brainless, illiterate world we live in, GK is your man. Witty, optimistic, learned, insightful, gentle, joyous, - a balm for the soul.

Also, from the thread, she states:

"I’ve been reading a Chesterton biography by Maisie Ward - includes many of his letters."


"I laugh every night - his wit sneaks up on you!

Monday, July 20, 2020

[Chesterton, writing about Robert Browning's elopement with Elizabeth Barrett]

The manner in which Browning bore himself in this acute and necessarily dubious position is, perhaps, more thoroughly to his credit than anything else in his career. He never came out so well in all his long years of sincerity and publicity as he does in this one act of deception. Having made up his mind to that act, he is not ashamed to name it; neither, on the other hand, does he rant about it, and talk about Philistine prejudices and higher laws and brides in the sight of God, after the manner of the cockney decadent. He was breaking a social law, but he was not declaring a crusade against social laws. We all feel, whatever may be our opinions on the matter, that the great danger of this kind of social opportunism, this pitting of a private necessity against a public custom, is that men are somewhat too weak and self-deceptive to be trusted with such a power of giving dispensations to themselves. We feel that men without meaning to do so might easily begin by breaking a social by-law and end by being thoroughly anti-social. One of the best and most striking things to notice about Robert Browning is the fact that he did this thing considering it as an exception, and that he contrived to leave it really exceptional. It did not in the least degree break the rounded clearness of his loyalty to social custom. It did not in the least degree weaken the sanctity of the general rule. At a supreme crisis of his life he did an unconventional thing, and he lived and died conventional. It would be hard to say whether he appears the more thoroughly sane in having performed the act, or in not having allowed it to affect him.
Robert Browning (1903)