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.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

"Our Notebook" Column, by G.K. Chesterton
Illustrated London News, January 7, 1922

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Once poetry and politics were great. Now they have been lopped from the tree only to rot on the ground or wither in the air. For the tree from which these fruits and flowers have been cut is that which our Northern forefathers worship, the Life-tree, Ygdrasil, whose branches take hold on heaven and whose fruit is the stars.
-The Outlook, Volume LVVVI (September to December 1905), quote found in article "G.K. Chesterton"

Monday, February 1, 2016

This sort of thing reduces my mind to a pulp. I can faintly resist when a man says that if the earth were a globe cats would not have four legs; but when he says that if the earth were a globe cats would not have five legs I am crushed.
-The Defendant (1901)
I mean the fact that the [his] rages, which are so ridiculous considered as rages, are perfectly intelligent and calculated considered as tricks.  That is a vital fact of modern government [...] The new cunning consists not in hiding the emotions, but in showing the sham emotions.  Familiarity is the instrument of falsity [...] We used to complain that rulers were reverenced as if they were more than human.  Our complaint may have been right; but we had not foreseen the filthy and ghastly results of being ruled by those who claim to be human, all too human.  We rebelled, and perhaps rightly, when a king was made stiff with gold and gems like an idol, and set on a throne as if it were an altar.  We are often tempted to-day to wish that the new ruler had the good manners of a stone image.  We wish he were as well-behaved as a wooden idol or even a wooden-headed king.
Sidelights on New London and Newer York (1932)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

...geniality is almost definable as strength to spare.
-Heretics (1905)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

It is much to be desired that those entirely excellent fellows who have a talent for scepticism should transfer some of their energies of inquiry from the dogmas of the other world to the dogmas of this world [...] It may be that I have a weak sympathy with those who have not seen and yet have believed. But I have no sympathy at all with those who have seen and yet have believed the opposite.
-March 10,1906, Daily News

Monday, January 25, 2016

"I am not prepared to admit that there is or can be, properly speaking, in the world anything that is too sacred to be known."

I am not prepared to admit that there is or can be, properly speaking, in the world anything that is too sacred to be known. That spiritual beauty and spiritual truth are in their nature communicable, and that they should be communicated, is a principle which lies at the root of every conceivable religion. Christ was crucified upon a hill, and not in a cavern, and the word Gospel itself involves the same idea as the ordinary name of a daily paper. Whenever, therefore, a poet or any similar type of man can, or conceives that he can, make all men partakers in some splendid secret of his own heart, I can imagine nothing saner and nothing manlier than his course in doing so. Thus it was that Dante made a new heaven and a new hell out of a girl's nod in the streets of Florence. Thus it was that Paul founded a civilisation by keeping an ethical diary. But the one essential which exists in all such cases as these is that the man in question believes that he can make the story as stately to the whole world as it is to him, and he chooses his words to that end. Yet when a work contains expressions which have one value and significance when read by the people to whom they were addressed, and an entirely different value and significance when read by any one else, then the element of the violation of sanctity does arise. It is not because there is anything in this world too sacred to tell. It is rather because there are a great many things in this world too sacred to parody.
-Robert Browning (1903)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The source for two quotations commonly attributed to GKC. :-)


"If men do not understand signs, they will never understand words."

...all men talk by signs. To talk by statues is to talk by signs; to talk by cities is to talk by signs. Pillars, palaces, cathedrals, temples, pyramids, are an enormous dumb alphabet: as if some giant held up his fingers of stone. The most important things at the last are always said by signs, even if, like the Cross on St. Paul's, they are signs in heaven. If men do not understand signs, they will never understand words.
-All Things Considered (1908)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

"If you will not have rules, you will have rulers."

There has been, and apparently will be, a definite increase of personal government in England. And it is wholesome to say first of all that it is mostly our own fault. We tend to have personal government because we have lost faith in impersonal government; that is, government by laws, by creeds, or by ideals. There are only two ways of governing human beings: the first is called dogmatism and the second despotism. But despotism is easier. For if men are ruled by a king they can forget him; if they are ruled by a creed they have to remember it.

Here is where I differ from Mr. Carpenter and all the interesting people who want to have no rules: I think they would only succeed in advancing the most bumptious man in the town. Exactly in proportion as these principles of impersonal government fade the chances of personal government increase. When the people does not know what it wants the despot gets what he wants. If you will not have rules, you will have rulers.

This growth of arbitrary government in our country is a very real thing...Judicial equity has become more and more a question of the judge and less and less a question of the statute. The very phrase 'judge-made law' either means nothing or it means personal despotism. If anyone said 'King-made law' we should start.
-October 12, 1907, Daily News

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

We need to ask ourselves why today so many people, men and women, young and old, of every social class, go to to psychics and fortune-tellers. Cardinal Giacomo Biffi used to quote these words by the English writer G.K. Chesterton: "When Man ceases to worship God he does not worship nothing but worships everything."
-The Name of God is Mercy, Pope Francis
The modern miser has changed much from the miser of legend and anecdote; but only because he has grown yet more insane. The old miser had some touch of the human artist about him in so far that he collected gold—a substance that can really be admired for itself, like ivory or old oak. An old man who picked up yellow pieces had something of the simple ardour, something of the mystical materialism, of a child who picks out yellow flowers. Gold is but one kind of coloured clay, but coloured clay can be very beautiful. The modern idolater of riches is content with far less genuine things. The glitter of guineas is like the glitter of buttercups, the chink of pelf is like the chime of bells, compared with the dreary papers and dead calculations which make the hobby of the modern miser.

The modern millionaire loves nothing so lovable as a coin. He is content sometimes with the dead crackle of notes; but far more often with the mere repetition of noughts in a ledger, all as like each other as eggs to eggs. [...]The round coins in the miser's stocking were safe in some sense. The round noughts in the millionaire's ledger are safe in no sense; the same fluctuation which excites him with their increase depresses him with their diminution. The miser at least collects coins; his hobby is numismatics. The man who collects noughts collects nothings.
-A Miscellany of Men (1912)