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, February 20, 2018

What had happened to the human imagination, as a whole, was that the whole world was coloured by dangerous and rapidly deteriorating passions; by natural passions becoming unnatural passions. Thus the effect of treating sex as only one innocent natural thing was that every other innocent natural thing became soaked and sodden with sex. For sex cannot be admitted to a mere equality among elementary emotions or experiences like eating and sleeping. The moment sex ceases to be a servant it becomes a tyrant. There is something dangerous and disproportionate in its place in human nature, for whatever reason; and it does really need a special purification and dedication. The modern talk about sex being free like any other sense, about the body being beautiful like any tree or flower, is either a description of the Garden of Eden or a piece of thoroughly bad psychology, of which the world grew weary two thousand years ago.
-St. Francis of Assissi (1923)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Moderate strength is shown in violence, supreme strength is shown in levity.
-The Man Who Was Thursday (1908)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

In all these pictures and painted medieval Bibles or missals there are traces of many fancies and fashions, but there is not even the trace of a trace of this one modern heresy of artistic monotone. There is not the trace of a trace of this idea of the keeping of comedy out of tragedy. The moderns who disbelieve in Christianity treat it much more reverently than these Christians who did believe in Christianity. The wildest joke in Voltaire is not wilder than some of the jokes coloured here by men, meek and humble, in their creed.

To mention one thing out of a thousand, take this. I have seen a picture in which the seven-headed beast of the Apocalypse was included among the animals in Noah's Ark, and duly provided with a seven-headed wife to assist him in propagating that important race to be in time for the Apocalypse. If Voltaire had thought of that, he would certainly have said it. But the restrictions of these men were restrictions of external discipline: they were not like ours, restrictions of mood. It might be a question how far people should be allowed to make jokes about Christianity; but there was no doubt that they should be allowed to feel jokes about it. There was no question of that merely impressional theory that we should look through only one peep-hole at a time. Their souls were at least stereoscopic. They had nothing to do with that pictorial impressionism which means closing one eye. They had nothing to do with that philosophical impressionism which means being half-witted.
-Lunacy and Letters (1958)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Modern education means handing down the customs of the minority, and rooting out the customs of the majority. [...] the poor have imposed on them mere pedantic copies of the prejudices of the remote rich.
-What's Wrong With the World (1910)

Friday, February 16, 2018

It is not self-evident that the tragic phase of life only follows on exceptional folly, and the fallacy was noted some time ago by the Tower of Siloam and the Ash-heap of Job.
-All I Survey (1933)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The advantage of an elementary philosophic habit is that it permits a man, for instance, to understand a statement like this, “Whether there can or can not be exceptions to a process depends on the nature of that process.” The disadvantage of not having it is that a man will turn impatiently even from so simple a truism; and call it metaphysical gibberish.  He will then go off and say: “One can’t have such things in the twentieth century”; which really is gibberish.  Yet the former statement could surely be explained to him in sufficiently simple terms.  If a man sees a river run downhill day after day and year after year, he is justified in reckoning, we might say in betting, that it will do so till he dies.  But he is not justified in saying that it cannot run uphill, until he really knows why it runs downhill.  To say it does so by gravitation answers the physical but not the philosophical question.  It only repeats that there is a repetition; it does not touch the deeper question of whether that repetition could be altered by anything outside it.  And that depends on whether there is anything outside it.  For instance, suppose that a man had only seen the river in a dream.  He might have seen it in a hundred dreams, always repeating itself and always running downhill.  But that would not prevent the hundredth dream being different and the river climbing the mountain; because the dream is a dream, and there is something outside it.  Mere repetition does not prove reality or inevitability.  We must know the nature of the thing and the cause of the repetition.  If the nature of the thing is a Creation, and the cause of the thing a Creator, in other words if the repetition itself is only the repetition of something willed by a person, then it is not impossible for the same person to will a different thing.  If a man is a fool for believing in a Creator, then he is a fool for believing in a miracle; but not otherwise.  Otherwise, he is simply a philosopher who is consistent in his philosophy.

A modern man is quite free to choose either philosophy.  But what is actually the matter with the modern man is that he does not know even his own philosophy; but only his own phraseology.  He can only answer the next spiritual message produced by a spiritualist, or the next cure attested by doctors at Lourdes, by repeating what are generally nothing but phrases; or are, at their best, prejudices.
-The Common Man (1950)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

[A piece that Chesterton wrote for his wife, before they were married]

To My Lady

God made you very carefully,
He set a star apart for it,
He stained it green and gold with fields
And aureoled it with sunshine,
He peopled it with kings, peoples, republics,
And so made you very, very carefully.
All nature is God's book, filled with his rough sketches for you.

[quoted in Wisdom and Innocence by Joseph Pearce, pp. 37-38]

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Chesterton prophesying cable news shouting matches...

[...] he who has the impatience to interrupt the words of another seldom has the patience rationally to select his own.
-The Judgment of Dr. Johnson (1927)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Chesterton prophesying Autocorrect...

[...] the very worst sort of mistakes are those that are not mistakes, but the corrections of mistakes. The worst howlers come from correctness and not from carelessness.
-November 3, 1928, Illustrated London News

Sunday, February 11, 2018

I have always understood that charity meant a kind and reverent handling of the actions of sinners, an allowance for their temptations, an unconquerable hope for their souls. I do not quite understand what charity can have to do with the denying of the existence of the sin. If you admit that Lord Foodle or Mr. Nathan Boodle have committed crimes; then I will show them charity and enough to melt a mad elephant. But if you say they have not, then either you are not a charitable man, but an ordinary normal liar, or else they are blameless people and not objects of charity at all. Charity does not hide sins. Charity exposes sins, but exposes also their excuses. Charity does not ask us to flatter the tyrant in his strength. Charity asks us to pity the tyrant in his weakness. Charity has for its business the searching out of the deepest and darkest part of a man, which is often also the most lovable; charity finds those secret and perverse ideals of which the criminal himself will not speak, and reveals the strange extenuations which he hides more cravenly than his crimes.
-August 5, 1905, Daily News

Saturday, February 10, 2018

In the Morning Post only this morning I see a solemn leading article blaming a politician for attacking an editor. Seeing that editors have no other purpose on this planet except to attack politicians, I cannot very clearly see where the wickedness comes in. Is an editor a soldier, or is he only a spy? The Morning Post speaks of the "courage" of the Spectator. Really, with the kindest will in the world, I do not think it requires much "courage" to maintain any of the opinions of the Spectator. But, according to the Morning Post, it must be positively cowardly; for it is free to attack statesmen because they have no right of reply.
-November 12, 1910, Illustrated London News

Friday, February 9, 2018

"...to be a failure may be one step to being a saint."

[...] Dickens shows none of that dreary submission to the environment of the irrevocable that had for an instant lain on him like a cloud. On this occasion he sees with the old heroic clarity that to be a failure may be one step to being a saint. On the third day he rose again from the dead.
-Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens (1911)