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.




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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Only by the hypocritical ignoring of a huge fact can any one contrive to talk of "free love"; as if love were an episode like lighting a cigarette, or whistling a tune. Suppose whenever a man lit a cigarette, a towering genie arose from the rings of smoke and followed him everywhere as a huge slave. Suppose whenever a man whistled a tune he "drew an angel down" and had to walk about forever with a seraph on a string. These catastrophic images are but faint parallels to the earthquake consequences that Nature has attached to sex; and it is perfectly plain at the beginning that a man cannot be a free lover; he is either a traitor or a tied man.
-What's Wrong With the World (1910)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Artificial Conflict

But the main character of these questions is that they divide people wrongly. They set up an opposition that does not exist, and so avoid, very often, the formidable opposition that does exist. The nameless and ancestral enemy that desires to eat our swords with rust and seal our eyes with an evil slumber, the primal cowardice that is older than the hills, has no way more effective than this artificial conflict for bringing about its peace, the peace of Satan that passes all understanding. It desires a false unity; and to make assurance doubly sure, it creates a false division. It sets men fighting about nothing, lest they should fight about something. This is half the secret of the political aristocracy of England.
-December 16, 1905, Daily News

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"...and perhaps it is a minor matter that it has ceased to be any good to anybody."

Practical men tell us that it is useless to cry over spilt milk [...] Anyhow, in the ordinary way unspilt milk has obviously more chance of remaining pure, but spilt milk has much more chance of becoming universal. To spill it is the way to spread it [...] It is the best course for the truly modernist milkman, who cannot consent to have his sacred element confined in narrow forms and limitations, in rigid cans and restricted jugs, but wishes it to flow forth freely and without limit, like a fountain in the public streets. By merely spilling the milk, the modernist will not, perhaps, make a fountain, but he will do what is more important to a modernist, he will make a splash. He will splash the milk far and wide, so as to cover a much larger area; possibly, also, so as to cover some of the passers-by, whose attention will thus be drawn to the incident. The milk of human kindness will be much more generally recognised when it is spilt than when it is imprisoned in a can- or a creed. It will have more appeal, more advertisement value, more publicity and big business methods. In short, the milk is more obvious to everybody; and perhaps it is a minor matter that it has ceased to be any good to anybody.
-December 20, 1924, Illustrated London News

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pickwick goes through life with that god-like gullibility which is the key to all adventures. The greenhorn is the ultimate victor in everything; it is he that gets the most out of life. Because Pickwick is led away by Jingle, he will be led to the White Hart Inn, and see the only Weller cleaning boots in the courtyard. Because he is bamboozled by Dodson and Fogg, he will enter the prison house like a paladin, and rescue the man and the woman who have wronged him most. His soul will never starve for exploits or excitements who is wise enough to be made a fool of. He will make himself happy in the traps that have been laid for him; he will roll in their nets and sleep. All doors will fly open to him who has a mildness more defiant than mere courage. The whole is unerringly expressed in one fortunate phrase -- he will be always "taken in." To be taken in everywhere is to see the inside of everything. It is the hospitality of circumstance. With torches and trumpets, like a guest, the greenhorn is taken in by Life. And the sceptic is cast out by it.
-Charles Dickens (1906)

Monday, June 12, 2017

"The saint without humility is the devil."

The ethics of the Middle Ages were at one with the ethics of the New Testament on this important point; that they understood the idea of the Pharisee. The saint without humility is the devil [...] the devil is a saint without humility. He is as austere as any anchorite; he is as intellectual as any doctor or theologian; he is as refined as any lady abbess; he is as sexless as any virgin martyr. The one difference between him and them is that he is an egoist; an austere, refined, intellectual, virgin egoist.
-February 3, 1906, Daily News

Friday, May 26, 2017

"It acts on a fixed theory that religious motives [...] need not be calculated and must not even be mentioned."

In all ages the world has rightly satirised religious hypocrisy. But in our age the world suffers terribly from something that can only be called secular hypocrisy. The cant is not only secular, it is even secularist. It acts on a fixed theory that religious motives, in national and international things, need not be calculated and must not even be mentioned [...] It is not a question of liking or disliking any of the religions, or of having any religion at all. It is simply a taboo of tact or convention, whereby we are free to say that a man does this or that because of his nationality, or his profession, or his place of residence, or his hobby, but not because of his creed about the very cosmos in which he lives.
-The End of the Armistice
(collection of essays published posthumously in 1940)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I wish we could sometimes love the characters in real life as we love the characters in romances. There are a great many human souls whom we should accept more kindly, and even appreciate more clearly, if we simply thought of them as people in a story.
-What I Saw In America (1922)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

G.K. Chesterton's Nightmare (Philip Jenkins)
Thirty years ago, a British newspaper took an unscientific survey of current and former intelligence agents, asking them which fictional work best captured the realities of their profession. Would it be John Le Carré, Ian Fleming, Robert Ludlum? To the amazement of most readers, the book that won easily was G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, published in 1908.

This was so surprising because of the book's early date, but also its powerful mystical and Christian content: Chesterton subtitled it "a nightmare." But perhaps the choice was not so startling. Looking at the problems Western intelligence agencies confront fighting terrorism today, Chesterton's fantasy looks more relevant than ever, and more like a practical how-to guide.
An interesting article to read