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.




Sunday, May 20, 2018

For after all, blame is itself a compliment. It is a compliment because it is an appeal; and an appeal to a man as a creative artist making his soul. To say to a man, "rascal" or "villain" in ordinary society may seem abrupt; but it is also elliptical. It is an abbreviation of a sublime spiritual apostrophe for which there may be no time in our busy social life. When you meet a millionaire, the cornerer of many markets, out at dinner in Mayfair, and greet him (as is your custom) with the exclamation "Scoundrel!" you are merely shortening for convenience some such expression as: "How can you, having the divine spirit of man that might be higher than the angels, drag it down so far as to be a scoundrel?" When you are introduced at a garden party to a Cabinet Minister who takes tips on Government contracts, and when you say to him in the ordinary way "Scamp!" you are merely using the last word of a long moral disquisition; which is in effect, "How pathetic is the spiritual spectacle of this Cabinet Minister, who being from the first made glorious by the image of God, condescends so far to lesser ambitions as to allow them to turn him into a scamp." It is a mere taking of the tail of a sentence to stand for the rest; like saying 'bus for omnibus. It is even more like the case of that seventeenth century Puritan whose name was something like "If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned, Higgins"; but who was, for popular convenience, referred to as "Damned Higgins." But it is obvious, anyhow, that when we call a man a coward, we are in so doing asking him how he can be a coward when he could be a hero. When we rebuke a man for being a sinner, we imply that he has the powers of a saint.
-Fancies Versus Fads (1923)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

[...] tradition, if it exists at all, is always much fresher and more forcible than anything else [...]
-The Spirit of Christmas (1984)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Those modern theologians who insist that Christianity is not in doctrines, but in spirit, commonly fail to notice that they are exposing themselves to a test more abrupt and severe than that of doctrine itself. Some legal preliminaries at least are necessary before a man can be burned for his opinions; but without any preliminaries at all a man can be shot for his tone of voice.
-The Spirit of Christmas (1984)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

For though to-day is always to-day and the moment is always modern, we are the only men in all history who fell back upon bragging about the mere fact that to-day is not yesterday. I fear that some in the future will explain it by saying that we had precious little else to brag about.
-All I Survey (1933)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Pride is not only only an enemy to instruction. Pride is an enemy to amusement. The main lesson of St. Francis of Assisi is this idea of an almost fantastic self-effacement corresponding to an almost fantastic pleasure.
-Lunacy and Letters (1958)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

[...] melancholy is a frivolous thing compared with the seriousness of joy. Melancholy is negative, it has to do with trivialities like death: joy is positive and has to answer for the renewal and perpetuation of being. Melancholy is irresponsible; it could watch the universe fall to pieces: joy is responsible and upholds the universe in the void of space.
-June 11, 1901, Daily News

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A man should be always tied to his mother’s apron strings; he should always have a hold on his childhood, and be ready at intervals to start anew from a childish standpoint.  Theologically the thing is best expressed by saying, “You must be born again.” Secularly it is best expressed by saying, “You must keep your birthday.” Even if you will not be born again, at least remind yourself occasionally that you were born once.
-George Bernard Shaw (1909)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Queen Elizabeth II and GKC

Just as a follow-up to an earlier post, here is a picture of the then Princess Elizabeth's sitting room at her home Clarence House (about 1950), in which hung on the wall the preliminary sketch for Sir James Gunn's "The Conversation Piece", featuring G.K. Chesterton and his friends Hilaire Belloc and Maurice Baring. It is located to the right of the fireplace.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, Princess Elizabeth had received it from Sir Jame Gunn as a wedding present in 1947, and as Joseph Pearce notes
The future Queen replied on 16 December to offer "our most sincere thanks for the delightful picture of Mr. Chesterton, Mr. Belloc and Mr. Maurice Baring...I think it perfectly charming, and much look forward to hanging it in my house."
As we see, apparently she did exactly that. :-)


The picture, incidentally, is from the book Clarence House by Christopher Hussey (1950), from the plate opposite of p. 76. It is also the picture which appeared on the dust jacket (albeit the dust jacket of the edition I recieved was, naturally, not in as great of condition as the picture in the book itself, so I chose to use the latter).
There was a Victorian epoch when the caricaturists were supposed to caricature the politicians. Now the politicians are caricaturing their own caricatures. Hence it will probably be found that all our ablest artists, in this manner, will grow more and more frantic and farcical, more and more incredible and crazy. They are trying to keep pace with our statesmen and social philosophers.
G.K.C. as M.C. (1929)

Friday, May 11, 2018

The aim of good prose words is to mean what they say. The aim of good poetical words is to mean what they do not say.
-April 22, 1905, Daily News

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The decay of society was praised by artists as the decay of a corpse is praised by worms.
-George Bernard Shaw (1909)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The modern world is full of fantastic forms of animal worship; a religion generally accompanied with human sacrifice. Yet we hear strangely little of the real merits of animals; and one of them surely is this innocence of all boredom; perhaps such simplicity is the absence of sin.
-The New Jerusalem (1920)