Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England on the 29th of May, 1874. He was actually a prolific and gifted writer in virtually every area of literature. Chesterton was a man of strong opinions and enormously talented at defending them. However, his exuberant personality nevertheless allowed him to maintain warm friendships with people such as George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells, even with whom he vehemently disagreed.

Chesterton had no difficulty standing up for what he believed. Though not written for a scholarly audience, his biographies of s and historical figures like Charles Dickens and St. Francis of Assisi often contain brilliant insights into their subjects. His politics expounded his deep distrust of concentrated wealth and power of any sort. A newspaper article by him is credited with provoking Gandhi to seek a “genuine” nationalism for India. In Christianity he found the answers to the dilemmas and paradoxes he saw in life.

Chesterton died on the 14th of June, 1936 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. During his life he published 69 books and at least another ten have been published after his death. Many of those books are still in print.

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”

“I believe in getting into hot water. I think it keeps you clean.”

“I’ve searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.”

“Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.”

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”

“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.”

“What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.”

“Customs are generally unselfish. Habits are nearly always selfish.”

“To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.”

“Do not look at the faces in the illustrated papers. Look at the faces in the street.”

“War is not ‘the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you.”

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

“Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”

“Love means loving the unlovable – or it is no virtue at all.”

“The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.”

“It’s not that we don’t have enough scoundrels to curse; it’s that we don’t have enough good men to curse them.”

“The world will very soon be divided, unless I am mistaken, into those who still go on explaining our success, and those somewhat more intelligent who are trying to explain our failure.”