Why should I know G. K. Chesterton?

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an English writer, poet, dramatist and philosopher. Chesterton is known by his nickname The Prince of Paradox.

Books by G. K. Chesterton

Quotes by G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton The Everlasting Man

“A detective story generally describes six living men discussing how it is that a man is dead. A modern philosophic story generally describes six dead men discussing how any man can possibly be alive.”

G. K. Chesterton

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.”

G. K. Chesterton Heretics

“A madman is not someone who has lost his reason but someone who has lost everything but his reason.”

G. K. Chesterton

“A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition.”

G. K. Chesterton

“All government is an ugly necessity.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton

“Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.”

G. K. Chesterton Orthodoxy

“As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity.”

G. K. Chesterton Orthodoxy

“Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home.”

G. K. Chesterton Brave New Family

“Coincidences are spiritual puns.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton

“Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. 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.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton

“Feminism is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands.”

G. K. Chesterton

“He may be mad, but there's method in his madness. There nearly always is method in madness. It's what drives men mad, being methodical.”

G. K. Chesterton

“How quickly revolutions grow old; and, worse still, respectable.”

G. K. Chesterton

“How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Humility is the mother of giants. One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.”

G. K. Chesterton The Innocence of Father Brown

“Humor can get in under the door while seriousness is still fumbling at the handle.”

G. K. Chesterton

“I always like a dog so long as he isn't spelled backward.”

G. K. Chesterton

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.”

G. K. Chesterton

“I don't deny that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say that at certain strange epochs it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet.”

G. K. Chesterton

“I have little doubt that when St. George had killed the dragon he was heartily afraid of the princess.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton

“I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice.”

G. K. Chesterton

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”

G. K. Chesterton

“If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they shall be governed by the ten thousand commandments.”

G. K. Chesterton

“If there were no God, there would be no atheists.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton The Speaker

“In prosperity, our friends know us. In adversity, we know our friends.”

G. K. Chesterton

“In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don't know it.”

G. K. Chesterton

“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.”

G. K. Chesterton

“It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.”

G. K. Chesterton All Things Considered

“It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Journalism largely consists in saying 'Lord Jones is dead' to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer’s day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.”

G. K. Chesterton

“London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.”

G. K. Chesterton Orthodoxy

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

G. K. Chesterton Tremendous Trifles

“Marriage is a duel to the death which no man of honour should decline.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Misers get up early in the morning; and burglars, I am informed, get up the night before.”

G. K. Chesterton On Lying in Bed

“Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.”

G. 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.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Oscar Wilde said that sunsets were not valued because we could not pay for sunsets. But Oscar Wilde was wrong; we can pay for sunsets. We can pay for them by not being Oscar Wilde.”

G. K. Chesterton

“People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.”

G. K. Chesterton

“People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple; it is merely that the novel is more true than they are.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.”

G. K. Chesterton Orthodoxy

“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it.”

G. K. Chesterton Twelve Types

“Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.”

G. K. Chesterton Orthodoxy

“Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Right is right even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong even if everybody is wrong about it.”

G. K. Chesterton

“That is the one eternal education: to be sure enough that something is true that you dare to tell it to a child.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton

“The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic.”

G. K. Chesterton The Blue Cross

“The first two facts which a healthy boy or girl feels about sex are these: first that it is beautiful and then that it is dangerous.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.”

G. K. Chesterton Orthodoxy

“The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The past is not what it was.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”

G. K. Chesterton Orthodoxy

“The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.”

G. K. Chesterton Introduction to The Book of Job

“The simplification of anything is always sensational.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The things we see every day are the things we never see at all.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The things we see every day are the things we never see at all.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton

“The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The word "good" has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.”

G. K. Chesterton

“The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.”

G. K. Chesterton Tremendous Trifles

“The worst moment for an atheist is when he is really thankful and has no one to thank.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton

“There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.”

G. K. Chesterton

“There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there.”

G. K. Chesterton The Everlasting Man

“There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.”

G. K. Chesterton

“There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read.”

G. K. Chesterton

“There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect.”

G. K. Chesterton

“There is the great lesson of 'Beauty and the Beast,' that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.”

G. K. Chesterton

“There's a lot of difference between listening and hearing.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Thieves respect property; they merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.”

G. K. Chesterton The Man Who Was Thursday

“To complain that I could only be married once was like complaining that I had only been born once.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton

“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction … for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it.”

G. K. Chesterton The Club of Queer Trades

“We do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people. We need to get good people to restrain us from bad laws.”

G. K. Chesterton

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

G. K. Chesterton On Bright Old Things and Other Things

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”

G. K. Chesterton

“When it rains on your parade, look up rather than look down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Wit is a sword; it is meant to make people feel the point as well as see it.”

G. K. Chesterton

“Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.”

G. K. Chesterton

“You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.”

G. K. Chesterton

“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”

G. K. Chesterton