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.




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"...and perhaps it is a minor matter that it has ceased to be any good to anybody."

Practical men tell us that it is useless to cry over spilt milk [...] Anyhow, in the ordinary way unspilt milk has obviously more chance of remaining pure, but spilt milk has much more chance of becoming universal. To spill it is the way to spread it [...] It is the best course for the truly modernist milkman, who cannot consent to have his sacred element confined in narrow forms and limitations, in rigid cans and restricted jugs, but wishes it to flow forth freely and without limit, like a fountain in the public streets. By merely spilling the milk, the modernist will not, perhaps, make a fountain, but he will do what is more important to a modernist, he will make a splash. He will splash the milk far and wide, so as to cover a much larger area; possibly, also, so as to cover some of the passers-by, whose attention will thus be drawn to the incident. The milk of human kindness will be much more generally recognised when it is spilt than when it is imprisoned in a can- or a creed. It will have more appeal, more advertisement value, more publicity and big business methods. In short, the milk is more obvious to everybody; and perhaps it is a minor matter that it has ceased to be any good to anybody.
-December 20, 1924, Illustrated London News

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pickwick goes through life with that god-like gullibility which is the key to all adventures. The greenhorn is the ultimate victor in everything; it is he that gets the most out of life. Because Pickwick is led away by Jingle, he will be led to the White Hart Inn, and see the only Weller cleaning boots in the courtyard. Because he is bamboozled by Dodson and Fogg, he will enter the prison house like a paladin, and rescue the man and the woman who have wronged him most. His soul will never starve for exploits or excitements who is wise enough to be made a fool of. He will make himself happy in the traps that have been laid for him; he will roll in their nets and sleep. All doors will fly open to him who has a mildness more defiant than mere courage. The whole is unerringly expressed in one fortunate phrase -- he will be always "taken in." To be taken in everywhere is to see the inside of everything. It is the hospitality of circumstance. With torches and trumpets, like a guest, the greenhorn is taken in by Life. And the sceptic is cast out by it.
-Charles Dickens (1906)

Monday, June 12, 2017

"The saint without humility is the devil."

The ethics of the Middle Ages were at one with the ethics of the New Testament on this important point; that they understood the idea of the Pharisee. The saint without humility is the devil [...] the devil is a saint without humility. He is as austere as any anchorite; he is as intellectual as any doctor or theologian; he is as refined as any lady abbess; he is as sexless as any virgin martyr. The one difference between him and them is that he is an egoist; an austere, refined, intellectual, virgin egoist.
-February 3, 1906, Daily News

Friday, May 26, 2017

"It acts on a fixed theory that religious motives [...] need not be calculated and must not even be mentioned."

In all ages the world has rightly satirised religious hypocrisy. But in our age the world suffers terribly from something that can only be called secular hypocrisy. The cant is not only secular, it is even secularist. It acts on a fixed theory that religious motives, in national and international things, need not be calculated and must not even be mentioned [...] It is not a question of liking or disliking any of the religions, or of having any religion at all. It is simply a taboo of tact or convention, whereby we are free to say that a man does this or that because of his nationality, or his profession, or his place of residence, or his hobby, but not because of his creed about the very cosmos in which he lives.
-The End of the Armistice
(collection of essays published posthumously in 1940)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I wish we could sometimes love the characters in real life as we love the characters in romances. There are a great many human souls whom we should accept more kindly, and even appreciate more clearly, if we simply thought of them as people in a story.
-What I Saw In America (1922)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

G.K. Chesterton's Nightmare (Philip Jenkins)
Thirty years ago, a British newspaper took an unscientific survey of current and former intelligence agents, asking them which fictional work best captured the realities of their profession. Would it be John Le Carré, Ian Fleming, Robert Ludlum? To the amazement of most readers, the book that won easily was G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, published in 1908.

This was so surprising because of the book's early date, but also its powerful mystical and Christian content: Chesterton subtitled it "a nightmare." But perhaps the choice was not so startling. Looking at the problems Western intelligence agencies confront fighting terrorism today, Chesterton's fantasy looks more relevant than ever, and more like a practical how-to guide.
An interesting article to read

Monday, May 22, 2017

Upon this very simple fact of human nature- that bustle always mean banality- the whole gigantic modern Press [...] is built.
-March 26, 1910, Illustrated London News

Thursday, May 18, 2017

That power to control thoughts, moralities, and tones of life which we would not give to the Commonwealth itself, crowned with the auctoritas of the people, we are actually giving to every two-penny firm, to every ephemeral business that can scrape together enough money to enslave a score or two of men. 
-March 6, 1909, Daily News

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

[...] every high civilisation decays by forgetting obvious things.
-The New Jerusalem (1920)

Monday, May 15, 2017

People said his distinctions were fine distinctions, and so they were; very fine indeed. A fine distinction is like a fine painting or a fine poem or anything else fine; a triumph of the human mind. In these days when large-mindedness is supposed to consist of confusing everything with everything else, of saying that man is the same as woman and religion the same as irreligion, and the unnatural as good as the natural and all the rest of it, it is well to keep high in the mind the great power of distinction, by which man becomes in the true sense distinguished.
-G.K.'s Weekly, March 29, 1930
(quoted in The Man Who Was Orthodox by A.L. Maycock, 1963)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

[...] there is no limit to the lunacy of men when they think themselves superior both to humility and laughter.
-March 2, 1907, Daily News

Friday, May 5, 2017

"They desire the democracy to be sexually fluid, because the making of small nuclei is like the making of small nations."

There is only one form of freedom which they tolerate; and that is the sort of sexual freedom which is covered by the legal fiction of divorce. If we ask why this liberty is alone left, when so many liberties are lost, we shall find the answer in the summary of this chapter. They are trying to break the vow of the knight as they broke the vow of the monk. They recognise the vow as the vital antithesis to servile status, the alternative and therefore the antagonist. Marriage makes a small state within the state, which resists all such regimentation. That bond breaks all other bonds; that law is found stronger than all later and lesser laws. They desire the democracy to be sexually fluid, because the making of small nuclei is like the making of small nations. Like small nations, they are a nuisance to the mind of imperial scope. In short, what they fear, in the most literal sense, is home rule.
-The Superstition of Divorce (1920)