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)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What book would *you* choose if stranded on a desert island?

G.K. Chesterton and several other literary figures were once asked what book they would prefer to have with them if they were stranded on a desert island.

"The complete works of Shakespeare," said one writer without hesitation.

"I choose the Bible," said another.

"How about you?" they asked Chesterton.

"I would choose Thomas' Guide to Practical Shipbuilding," replied Chesterton.

Source- Joke Barn

UPDATE (May 8, 2011):

Here, apparently, is the original source of the above anecdote. Cyril Clemens (a relation of Samuel Clemens, i.e., Mark Twain) wrote a book on Chesterton called Chesterton as Seen by His Contemporaries (1939), in the course of which he interviewed Chesterton himself as well (shortly before GKC's death), in addition to his contemporaries. From that book (p. 131 in my edition):

I then asked the author what would be his choice if he had to go on a desert island and could take but one book along.

"It would depend upon the circumstances," he replied. "If I were a politician who wanted to impress his constituents, I would take Plato or Aristotle. But the real test would be with people who had no chance to show off before their friends or their constituents. In that case I feel certain that everyone would take Thomas' 'Guide to Practical Shipbuilding' so that they could get away from the island as quickly as possible. And then if they should be allowed to take a second book it would be the most exciting detective story within reach. But if I could take only one book to a desert isle and was not in a particular hurry to get off, I would without the slightest hesitation put 'Pickwick Papers' in my handbag."

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