About This Author

G. K. Chesterton
KC*SG

G.K. Chesterton LCCN2014686602.tif

Born

Gilbert Keith Chesterton29 May 1874 Kensington, London, England

Died

14 June 1936 Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England

Resting place

Roman Catholic Cemetery, Beaconsfield

Occupation

Journalist, novelist, essayist, poet

Citizenship

British

Education

St Paul's School

Alma mater

Slade School of Art

Period

1900–1936

Genre

Essays, Fantasy, Christian apologetics, Catholic apologetics, Mystery, poetry

Literary movement

Catholic literary revival

Notable works

The Napoleon of Notting HillCharles Dickens: A Critical Study The Man Who Was ThursdayOrthodoxyFather Brown storiesThe Everlasting Man

Spouse

Frances Blogg

Relatives

Cecil Chesterton

Signature

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG , was an English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic. Chesterton is often referred to as the "prince of paradox". Time magazine has observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out."

Chesterton is well known for his fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and for his reasoned apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognised the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an "orthodox" Christian, and came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, his "friendly enemy", said of him, "He was a man of colossal genius." Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal John Henry Newman, and John Ruskin.

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Discover Gilbert K. Chesterton Quotes and Sayings

Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket. But I found it would be too long and the age of the great epics is past. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket. But I found it would be too long and the age of the great epics is past.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

great age
All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

change alone
Man does not live by soap alone and hygiene, or even health, is not much good unless you can take a healthy view of it or, better still, feel a healthy indifference to it. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

Man does not live by soap alone and hygiene, or even health, is not much good unless you can take a healthy view of it or, better still, feel a healthy indifference to it.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

health alone
There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

imagination architecture
All architecture is great architecture after sunset perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

All architecture is great architecture after sunset perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

great art architecture
I was planning to go into architecture. But when I arrived, architecture was filled up. Acting was right next to it, so I signed up for acting instead. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

I was planning to go into architecture. But when I arrived, architecture was filled up. Acting was right next to it, so I signed up for acting instead.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

architecture
Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

art
Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

experience art
Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

art
I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

success best
No man who worships education has got the best out of education... Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

No man who worships education has got the best out of education... Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

education best
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

courage
The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

courage
Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

society education
Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

education
The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

education