G. K. Chesterton

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The aim of this site is to provide information and resources about one of my favourite authors: Gilbert Keith Chesterton. My aim is to provide a single source for all of Chesterton's works which are currently available as etexts.

Resources Provided at This Site:

* G.K. Chesterton's Works on the Web

* Picture Archive

* Recordings by G.K. Chesterton and Audio Books

* Links to Related Sites

Works about G.K. Chesterton:

If you have any additions for this page, or comments (praise, criticism, etc.) please email them to me at the address: martin@gkc.org.uk.

A Short Biography

(The following text was written by Mike Piff (MPiff@pa.shef.ac.uk) Thanks Mike!)

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

Chesterton had no difficulty standing up for what he believed. He was one of the few journalists to oppose the Boer War. His 1922 Eugenics and Other Evils attacked what was at that time the most progressive of all ideas, the idea that the human race could and should breed a superior version of itself. In the Nazi experience, history demonstrated the wisdom of his once "reactionary" views.

His poetry runs the gamut from the comic The Logical Vegetarian to dark and serious ballads. During the dark days of 1940, when Britain stood virtually alone against the armed might of Nazi Germany, these lines from his 1911 Ballad of the White Horse were often quoted:

I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.
Though not written for a scholarly audience, his biographies of authors and historical figures like Charles Dickens and St. Francis of Assisi often contain brilliant insights into their subjects. His "Father Brown" mystery stories, written between 1911 and 1936, are still being read and adapted for television.

His politics fitted with his deep distrust of concentrated wealth and power of any sort. Along with his friend Hilaire Belloc and in books like the 1910 What's Wrong with the World he advocated a view called "Distributism" that is best summed up by his expression that every man ought to be allowed to own "three acres and a cow." Though not known as a political thinker, his political influence has circled the world. Some see in him the father of the "small is beautiful" movement and a newspaper article by him is credited with provoking Gandhi to seek a "genuine" nationalism for India. Orthodoxy belongs to yet another area of literature at which Chesterton excelled. A fun-loving and gregarious man, he was nevertheless troubled in his adolescence by thoughts of suicide. In Christianity he found the answers to the dilemmas and paradoxes he saw in life. Other books in that same series include his 1905 Heretics and its sequel Orthodoxy and his 1925 The Everlasting Man.

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.

On 17th September 2012 a crater on the planet Mercury was named Chesterton in his honour.

Mercury Theatre Dramatisation

The Mercury Theatre on the Air, founded by Orson Welles and John Houseman, produced the finest radio drama of the 1930's. The show is famous for its notorious War of the Worlds broadcast, but one of the other shows in the series was a dramatisation of Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, broadcast on 5th September 1938. An MP3 file (27MB) of the broadcast is available.

G.K.Chesterton on The Internet Archive

The Internet Archive, at archive.org has several works by Chesterton including some audiobooks.

Father Brown Videos and DVDs

Acorn Media have released three collections of Father Brown stories on VHS video and DVD. Starring Kenneth More as Father Brown and Dennis Burgess as Flambeau the programmes were originally televised in 1974.

Links to Related Sites

* The Catholic G. K. Chesterton Society
* The Chesterton Review
* G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture
* Russian translations of Chesterton's works:
  1. St. Francis of Assisi, The Return of Don Quixote, The Napoleon of Notting Hill, The Man Who Was Thursday, The Oracle of the Dog, some Father Brown stories, and many others
  2. Some of the same stuff as the above link, plus The Everlasting Man
* G.K. Chesterton Mega-Links Page & Quote of the Week by Dave Armstrong
* The American Chesterton Society--order your Chesterton mug and T-shirt (extra large size only) here!
* Gilbert! The Magazine of G.K. Chesterton
* G.K. Chesterton's writer and actor(!) filmography on the Internet Movie Database
* Great Science-Fiction and Fantasy Works-- including a discussion of "The Man Who Was Thursday"
* Top Meadow's Chesterton Gallery archived on the Internet Archive.
* Into the Wardrobe: The C. S. Lewis WWW Page
* The Mythopoeic Society-- a non-profit international literary and educational organization for the study, discussion, and enjoyment of fantasy and mythic literature, especially the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.
* Christian Classics Ethereal Library--source of several of the Chesterton books, and many other Christian Classics
* Project Gutenberg. The Project Gutenberg Philosophy is to make information, books and other materials available to the general public in forms a vast majority of the computers, programs and people can easily read, use, quote, and search.
* LibriVox. LibriVox provides free audiobooks from the public domain. Their books include The Wisdom of Father Brown
* Christian Resources on the Net
* The Dorothy L. Sayers Society
* Jim Henry III's etexts
* Online Literature Library Information about authors, including biographies and copies of some of their works.
* Google Book Search for G.K.Chesterton
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Last modified: 10th April 2019
Martin Ward, De Montfort University, Leicester.
Email: martin@gkc.org.uk Don't email: d3457f@gkc.org.uk