Tuesday, April 18, 2006

G. K. Chesterton: The "Colossal Genius" (Links Page by Dave Armstrong)


So far as a man may be proud of a religion rooted in humility, I am very proud of my religion; I am especially proud of those parts of it that are most commonly called superstition. I am proud of being fettered by antiquated dogmas and enslaved by dead creeds (as my journalistic friends repeat with so much pertinacity), for I know very well that it is the heretical creeds that are dead, and that it is only the reasonable dogma that lives long enough to be called antiquated.

-- From Autobiography (1936) --

Selected Chesterton Utterances (selected by Dave Armstrong)

Aphorisms From G. K. Chesterton's Book Orthodoxy (selected by Dave Armstrong)
Aphorisms From G. K. Chesterton's Book, The Everlasting Man (selected by Dave Armstrong)
Chesterton: a Prophet For Our Times: More Aphorisms (The Illustrated London News) (selected by Dave Armstrong)

G. K. Chesterton: Quotations About Great Men and Women (selected by Dave Armstrong)

Biographical Brief

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was one of the leading literary and apologetic figures in England during the first third of this century. George Bernard Shaw, an atheist, but very good friend of Chesterton's, called him a "colossal genius," no doubt wittily intending a double meaning (Chesterton was quite rotund in later years!). In an anthology by a Protestant publisher, he was described as "the ablest and most exuberant proponent of orthodox Christianity of his time" (1). The great Anglican poet, T.S. Eliot said of him: "He did more, I think, than any man of his time . . . to maintain the existence of the important minority in the modern world" (2). C.S. Lewis, arguably the greatest Christian apologist in the era following Chesterton, and also an Anglican, described reading Chesterton as an atheist in 1925:
    Then I read Chesterton's Everlasting Man and for the first time saw the whole Christian outline of history set out in a form that seemed to me to make sense . . . I already thought Chesterton the most sensible man alive "apart from his Christianity." Now, I veritably believe, I thought that Christianity itself was very sensible "apart from its Christianity." (3)
When asked what Christian writers had helped him, Lewis remarked in 1963, six months before he died, "The contemporary book that has helped me the most is Chesterton's The Everlasting Man." (4)
Chesterton produced nearly a hundred books, including the classics Orthodoxy and The Man Who Was Thursday, and biographies of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi. He wrote articles for about 125 periodicals, and was also a talented literary critic, mystery writer, economic and political analyst, social commentator, orator, humorist and poet. He was received into the Catholic Church in 1922.
1. Robert Knille, editor, As I Was Saying: A Chesterton Reader, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985, 3.
2. In George J. Marlin, editor, The Quotable Chesterton, New York: Doubleday, 1987, xv. "Minority" = Christianity.
3. Surprised by Joy, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1955, 223.
4. God in the Dock (edited by Walter Hooper), Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970, 260.

Web Pages

The American Chesterton Society

The Blog of the American Chesterton Society

G. K. Chesterton (Martin Ward: collects all online e-texts)

 The Jolly Journalist  Miscellaneous articles and other writings by G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) 


G. K. Chesterton's Conversion Story (edited by Dave Armstrong)

Hear the Voice of the Great G.K. Chesterton (edited by Dave Armstrong; from John Cruickshank's pages; includes three "new" photos) 

Film and Audio Recordings of G. K. Chesterton 

Chesterton Page Revamped / 80+ Online Books / Rare GKC Photos / Three Caricatures

G. K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense (Audio files of EWTN TV series with Dale Ahlquist and Chuck Chalberg) (+ Part Two)

A Tribute to Chesterton (Photos and Audio Clips)

Biography from the Parish church in Beaconsfield: Chesterton's residence (incl. three rare photos of GKC and one of his gravesite)

Misc. Articles and Essays

On Chesterton (James V. Schall, S.J.; compilation of 22 essays - 278K) 

On the Place of Gilbert Chesterton in English Letters (Hilaire Belloc)

G. K. Chesterton and The Perils of Being a Complete Thinker (Dale Ahlquist)

G. K. Chesterton and the Use of the Imagination (Dale Ahlquist)

G. K. Chesterton: fresh and accessible today (interview with Chesterton expert Dale Ahlquist)


Chesterton's Online Writings: Books
See also:

Exhaustive Bibliography of Materials By and About G.K. Chesterton
and Annotated Chronological Bibiography (Dale Ahlquist)

Books About Chesterton (Dale Ahlquist)

Books by Chesterton (Dale Ahlquist)

G. K.Chesterton's Works on the Web (Martin Ward's compilation)

Author: G. K. Chesterton (Wikisource)

[htm / htm / pdf]

The Everlasting Man [htm / htm / htm / C.S. Lewis' comment on]

The Catholic Church and Conversion
[htm / htm / txt]

St Francis
of Assisi
[htm / htm]

St. Thomas Aquinas: "The Dumb Ox"
[htm / htm / pdf]

[htm / txt / pdf]

The Well and the Shallows [htm / txt / pdf]

What's Wrong With the World [htm / htm / pdf / audio book]

The Superstition of Divorce [htm / txt / pdf]

Eugenics and Other Evils [htm / htm / pdf]

Tremendous Trifles [htm / text]
The Outline of Sanity [htm / txt]

Autobiography [htm / txt]

The Defendant [htm / htm]

All I Survey [htm / txt]

As I Was Saying [htm / txt]

Fancies Versus Fads [htm / txt]

All Things Considered
[htm / htm]

Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays
[htm / txt]

The New Jerusalem [htm / txt]

Charles Dickens
[htm / htm / audio book]

Alarms And Discursions [htm / txt]

The Common Man [htm / txt]

The Spice of Life and Other Essays [htm / htm]

The Apostle and the Wild Ducks [htm / txt]

The Oracle of the Dog (a Father Brown story)
The Blue Cross (a Father Brown story)

Chesterton's Online Writings: Essays and Excerpts

Inaugural Address of the Philosophical Society, 1926

Conversion to Catholicism: General Observations (edited by Dave Armstrong; from The Catholic Church and Conversion, with portions of the foreword by Hilaire Belloc, and related comments by Jaroslav Pelikan)

Why I Am A Christian
Why I Am A Catholic
Article on Charles Dickens in the 1929 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica
Introduction to Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1912)
The Meaning of the Crusade
Social Reform vs. Birth Control
George Macdonald
Humor (Encyclopedia Britannica)
What is America?
On American Morals
Introduction to The Song of Roland (1920)
The Case for Hermits
The Crimes of England
How I Found the Superman
Fairy Tales
French And English
Introduction to The Book of Job
GKC on the Incarnational Character of Christianity
A Ballade Of An Anti-Puritan
Introduction to Creatures That Once Were Men, and other stories (by Maksim Gorky)
Songs of Education: III: For the Creche (poem)
The Ballad of the White Horse (poem; alt. URL)
Poems: GK Chesterton (PoemHunter.com)
Distributist Writings
GKC on Detective Stories
Divorce vs. Democracy
GKC on Philosophy
Milton: man and poet
Introduction to the Book of Job
Do We Agree? (a debate [1928] between Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw, with Hilaire Belloc as moderator)
Mercury Theatre Dramatisation of The Man Who Was Thursday by Orson Welles (27MB MP3 file)

Chesterton Chronological Bibliography of Major Books

    1904 The Napoleon of Notting Hill  
    1905 The Club of Queer Trades / Heretics  
    1908 The Man Who Was Thursday / All Things Considered / Orthodoxy  
    1910 What's Wrong With the World  
    1911The Innocence of Father Brown  
    1914 The Wisdom of Father Brown  
    1917 Utopia of Usurers, and Other Essays  
    1920 The Superstition of Divorce  
    1922 Eugenics and Other Evils  
    1924 St. Francis of Assisi  
    1925 The Everlasting Man  
    1926 The Outline of Sanity / The Catholic Church and Conversion  
    1927 The Secret of Father Brown  
    1929 The Thing: Why I Am a Catholic  
    1933 St. Thomas Aquinas: "The Dumb Ox"  
    1935 The Well and The Shallows  
    1936 Autobiography 
    1915 G. K. Chesterton: A Critical Study, Julius West [link to online version
    1921 Authordoxy: being a discursive examination of Mr. G.K. Chesterton's "Orthodoxy", Alan Handsacre [link to online version
    1922 Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Patrick Braybrooke [link to online version

Compiled by Dave Armstrong.
Updated on 21 April 2015.