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.




Sunday, January 23, 2011

Anecdote of GKC with William and Henry James, found in a wonderful review of Orthodoxy

A review of Orthodoxy I found which I particularly liked, which mentions an interesting anecdote about GKC involving Henry and William James (Here is the link to the review):

It began innocently enough. There's a story, in the last volume of Leon Edel's five volume biography of Henry James, about William James climbing the gardener's ladder, during a visit to Henry's Lamb House in Rye, and peeking over the wall to catch a glimpse of G. K. Chesterton walking down the street. Henry, apparently horrified at William's lack of decorum, begged him to come down. Afterward, he had the gardener hide the ladder. The story has a happy ending, as William and Henry were later introduced to Chesterton and "sat till midnight" drinking port with Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc.

That anecdote piqued my curiosity about Chesterton. I wanted to find out more about the man whose mere presence in the street could prompt William James to climb a ladder and peek over a wall in defiance of Henry's fussiness. I put Chesterton's Orthodoxy on my Christmas wish list, and I got my wish.

Well, now I know why William James climbed that ladder.

My first thought when I began reading ORTHODOXY was, "Is Chesterton's prose really as good as I think it is?" As I read further, and determined to my satisfaction that Chesterton's prose is indeed as good as I think it is, another thought -- less literary, but equally sincere -- began to form: "Gilbert Keith Chesterton, where have you been all my life?"

In a way, that's a serious question. Why, I wondered, had my discovery of Chesterton depended on my own wayward and desultory literary apetites? No one ever offered to introduce me to Chesterton. No good friend ever said, "You must meet my friend Gilbert. I think the two of you would really hit it off." Instead, we "met cute" at a party. A friend of mine had climbed a ladder to take a look at a mysterious stranger. I climbed up after him to see what all the fuss was about, and, in typically clumsy fashion, I lost my balance and toppled right into the stranger's arms.

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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