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)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated" - Mark Twain

Cyril Clemens (a relation of Mark Twain) wrote a book on Chesterton, called "Chesterton as Seen by His Contemporaries". It is a fascinating book and a source for many great sayings and anecdotes concerning GKC.  (For instance, it is here we learn Chesterton's famous reply concerning the book he would wish to have if he were stranded on a desert island: "Thomas's Guide to Practical Shipbuilding)

That being the case, it is interesting to read this concerning Cyril Clemens' own father, James Ross Clemens, a cousin of Mark Twain:

My father was James Ross Clemens whose illness in London was the innocent cause of Mark Twain's most famous saying, "The report of my death is greatly exaggerated." For the newsmen had confused the two Clemenses and had Mark not merely ill but actually dead!


Or, to give Mark Twain's version of the incident (from which the quote first originated)

"James Ross Clemens, a cousin of mine, was seriously ill two or three weeks ago in London but is well now. the report of my illness grew out of his illness. The report of my death was an exaggeration"


Of course, the saying took on a life of its own (with some tweaking later on by Twain himself, such as adding the word "greatly"), resulting in the more familiar version quoted today. 

Granted, this is only somewhat related to this blog, in that it deals with a famous Mark Twain quote, not a Chesterton quote. But given that the occasion for the Twain quote was when Twain was confused with the father of the author of a book on Chesterton, it was something I wished to share in this place, in that there is a Chesterton connection in that respect

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