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)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

[H]aving taken the frivolous things seriously we naturally take the serious things frivolously.
-August 25, 1906, Illustrated London News

Monday, March 18, 2019

We in a certain Western tradition have erected a thing, the toils and trivialities of which we know only too well, but which we are still prepared dogmatically to defend, a thing called public law. [...] all good things live in the light and in the air of truth. Sooner or later State secrets will be tainted with treason; sooner or later private prisons will be filled with torture. The only cure is daylight; even if it be such dreary daylight as creeps at morning along the corridors of a law court. [...] the citizen of Western Christendom upholds the huge, the perilous, and the noble experiment of publicity.
-April 22. 1911, Daily News

Sunday, March 17, 2019

"I did not buy the pistol to murder myself or my wife; I never was really modern."

A man does not generally manage to forget his wedding-day; especially such a highly comic wedding-day as mine. For the family remembers against me a number of now familiar legends, about the missing of trains, the losing of luggage, and other things counted yet more eccentric. It is alleged against me, and with perfect truth, that I stopped on the way to drink a glass of milk in one shop and to buy a revolver with cartridges in another. Some have seen these as singular wedding-presents for a bridegroom to give to himself; and if the bride had known less of him, I suppose she might have fancied that he was a suicide or a murderer or, worst of all, a teetotaller. They seemed to me the most natural things in the world. I did not buy the pistol to murder myself or my wife; I never was really modern. I bought it because it was the great adventure of my youth, with a general notion of protecting her from the pirates doubtless infesting the Norfolk Broads, to which we were bound; where, after all, there are still a suspiciously large number of families with Danish names. I shall not be annoyed if it is called childish; but obviously it was rather a reminiscence of boyhood, and not of childhood.
-Autobiography (1936)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

[P]rogress ought to be based on principle [...] our modern progress is mostly based on precedent. We go, not by what may be affirmed in theory, but by what has been already admitted in practice.
-What's Wrong With the World (1910)

Friday, March 15, 2019

[...] Eugenics is chiefly a denial of the Declaration of Independence. It urges that so far from all men being born equal, numbers of them ought not to be born at all.
-November 20, 1915, Illustrated London News

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Joseph Conrad and GKC

An interesting piece of information:
A few years later, Frances received a letter from [Joseph] Conrad's widow to say that her husband, who had died in 1924, had 'always' been a 'great admirer' of Chesterton and that it had been 'of no little regret' to him that he had not known Chesterton personally

-G.K. Chesterton: A Biography, Ian Ker, (2011), p. 572

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Al Capone and GKC

The following anecdote from Chesterton's trip to Italy is quite interesting (and which I have mentioned before, but found a new source confirming it):
While Dorothy Collins [GKC's secretary] had been taking Chesterton's dictation or Gilbert was visiting or lecturing, Frances [GKC's wife] was sometimes at a loose end. Fortunately, a fellow guest in the hotel, a pleasant American gentleman with a very large Packard limousine and his own chauffeur, was happy to put his car at Frances' disposal when it was not needed by himself. Gilbert would no doubt have been delighted in the chauffeur's name, Dominic Cinderella, but it would have been interesting to have been able to note his reaction when some time later, after may kindnesses by the American, Frances introduced nice Mr. Capone to Gilbert: Alphone Capone was perhaps enjoying a quiet holiday after all the excitement of the previous February's St Valentine's Day massacre.

-G.K. Chesterton: A Reappraisal, Denis J. Conlin (2015), p. 198

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The truth is that a phrase can be falsified by use without being false in fact.
-The Uses of Diversity (1921)

Monday, March 11, 2019

A joke is always a thought; it is grave and formal writing that can be quite literally thoughtless.
-The Uses of Diversity (1921)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

When people begin to ignore human dignity, it will not be long before they begin to ignore human rights.
-All is Grist (1931)

Saturday, March 9, 2019

"Oh, it's easy enough," said Lord Eden frankly. "Look how easily we remained in the saddle, in spite of democratic elections; how we managed to dominate the Commons as well as the Lords. It'll be the same with what they call Socialism. We shall still be there; only we shall be called bureaucrats instead of aristocrats."
-Tales of the Long Bow (1925)

Friday, March 8, 2019

"Yes," replied the smuggler placidly, "[...] I thought at first of dressing the pigs up as millionaires and members of Parliament; but when you come to look close, there's more difference than you would imagine to be possible [..]"
-Tales of the Long Bow (1925)

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The things that men see every day are the things they never see at all.
-Lunacy and Letters (1958)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Even when brilliant men have led the world, it is by no means certain that they have not generally misled the world. It is easy to say that commonplace crowds of mediocre men will never be able to rise to the task of government; it is true to say that such crowds of such men can never in themselves be a complete substitute for leadership. But it is quite another thing to have anything like complete confidence in the leadership of the sort of men who commonly offer themselves to lead.
-September 16, 1935, Illustrated London News

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

We naturally expect that the protest against that more than usually barbaric form of birth control will be a protest of indignant instinct and the common conscience of men. We expect the infanticide to be called by its own name, which is murder at its worst; not only the brand of Cain but the brand of Herod. We expect the protest to be full of the honour of men, of the memory of mothers, of the natural love of children.
-June 3, 1922, Illustrated London News

Monday, March 4, 2019

It is quite proper and important to discuss whether Democracy leads to Socialism, whether it is consistent with Catholicism, whether it encourages war, whether it admits of art; whether Democracy is dull, whether Democracy is lawless. But there is a question for the modern man much more solemn and searching than all these: whether Democracy is democratic.
-July 22, 1911, Illustrated London News

Sunday, March 3, 2019

A Hymn for the Church Militant

Great God, that bowest sky and star,
Bow down our towering thoughts to thee,
And grant us in a faltering war
The firm feet of humility.

Lord, we that snatch the swords of flame,
Lord, we that cry about Thy car.
We too are weak with pride and shame,
We too are as our foemen are.

Yea, we are mad as they are mad,
Yea, we are blind as they are blind,
Yea, we are very sick and sad
Who bring good news to all mankind.

The dreadful joy Thy Son has sent
Is heavier than any care;
We find, as Cain his punishment,
Our pardon more than we can bear.

Lord, when we cry Thee far and near
And thunder through all lands unknown
The gospel into every ear,
Lord, let us not forget our own.

Cleanse us from ire of creed or class,
The anger of the idle things;
Sow in our souls, like living grass,
The laughter of all lowly things.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Politics may or may not be a tyranny; politicians may or may not be parasites. But parasites do not cease to be parasites because we have grown weary of watching them as performing fleas. There are other functions that the parasites will still perform.
-August 4, 1923, Illustrated London News

Friday, March 1, 2019

I am not sure that the very fact that negative morality has a narrower scope does not sometimes mean that it leaves a wider liberty. If there are only Ten Commandments, it means that there are only ten things forbidden; and that means that there are ten million things that are not forbidden. Let us do justice to our ancestors, if they found it easier, and shorter, to describe what they forbade than what they permitted.
-October 1, 1932, Illustrated London News