Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin: The Two Who Never Met

The Best of All Impossible Worlds was held at the University of St. Thomas. This 2006 conference included talks by John Peterson, founder of Gilbert magazine, acclaimed author Fr. Stanley Jaki, Joseph Pearce on Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, IgnatiusInsight editor Carl Olson, the premiere of Chesterton’s play “The Surprise,” Adam Schwartz, Steve Miller, David Beresford, Christopher Check, Kurt Griffin, and Jill Kriegel. [...]

A Chestertonian Reading of Dickens’ Dombey and Son

The Best of All Impossible Worlds was held at the University of St. Thomas. This 2006 conference included talks by John Peterson, founder of Gilbert magazine, acclaimed author Fr. Stanley Jaki, Joseph Pearce on Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, Ignatius Insight editor Carl Olson, the premiere of Chesterton’s play The Surprise, Adam Schwartz, Steve Miller, David Beresford, Christopher Check, Kurt Griffin, and Jill [...]

Lecture 9: Charles Dickens

Chesterton was once asked the typical question, “What book would you want to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island?” As many people know, his quick answer was, “Thomas’ Guide to Practical Shipbuilding." But what many people don’t know is that he went on to name the book he really would [...]

Bibliography for Beginners

If you have never read a Chesterton book and don't know where to begin, we suggest you start with G.K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense and Common Sense 101: Lessons from Chesterton. These books, written by American Chesterton Society president Dale Ahlquist, are designed to introduce new readers to Chesterton's thought and writing. Looking for a comprehensive overview [...]

In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton

G.K. Chesterton was a master essayist. But reading his essays is not just an exercise in studying a literary form at its finest, it is an encounter with timeless truths that jump off the page as fresh and powerful as the day they were written. The only problem with Chesterton's essays is that there are [...]

Lecture 87: The Spirit of Christmas

If Christmas has just passed, all of the anticipation and celebration is banished for another year. It is hard to write about that magical and mysterious season when it is just over with. It would be easier to write about it in the summer. “Christmas in July,” means something: it means you have an unexpected [...]

Lecture 84: The Spice of Life

G.K. Chesterton says that he stopped reading novels when he began to be a reviewer of them. Yet he keeps writing about the books that he really has read, long after he has read them. His favorite novel is Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, but he says he read Pickwick only once, yet has walked [...]

Lecture 79: A Handful of Authors

We are only now beginning to appreciate the task that faced Dorothy Collins as she attempted to deal with the mountain of uncollected Chesterton essays written for various newspapers and magazines during his long literary career. As she went about the work of deciding which essays to gather into books, she was rightfully overwhelmed. There [...]

Lecture 77: The Common Man

Most of us do not regard reading books as a mere animal pleasure. But Chesterton says that it was for him, at least it was when he was a boy and he was reading books for boys. He was almost mechanically receptive, chewing up stories with “the sort of pleasure that a cow must have [...]

Lecture 58: GKC as MC

This unique book was the bright idea of a writer from Ceylon who visited England in the late 1920's and became friends with Chesterton. J.P. de Fonseka considered Chesterton a Master of Ceremonies to a whole banquet of authors past and present. Not just a Master but a Grand Master. He decided to collect Chesterton's [...]

Lecture 54: Robert Louis Stevenson

After Chesterton’s book on Robert Louis Stevenson was published in 1927, Edmund Gosse sent Chesterton a letter. Gosse had been a friend of Stevenson and one of his great champions. We can almost hear Gosse weeping with joy and gratitude as he writes that Chesterton really understands Stevenson, unlike any other modern critic. Just as [...]

Lecture 45: William Cobbett

It has been said (never mind by whom) that Chesterton’s books about others are really about himself. The qualities he admired in these indeed admirable characters were qualities that we immediately recognize in Chesterton. This is especially true of William Cobbett. Like Chesterton, William Cobbett (1763-1835) was a writer of many genres who cannot be [...]

Lecture 24: The Victorian Age in Literature

In 1913 the Home University Library published Chesterton's The Victorian Age in Literature. But the editors emphatically declared that the book was not being offered as "an authoritative history of Victorian Literature" but only as Chesterton's "personal views" on the subject. Apparently someone with personal views cannot write an authoritative history. In other words, an [...]

Lecture 22: Manalive

Every one of Chesterton’s novels is in some way a tribute to Charles Dickens: Pickwickian ensembles, broad-brushed emotion, extravagant variations on eternal struggles. As a painter borrowing a classic pose or technique from another painter’s masterpiece, so Chesterton models some of his literary scenes on those created by Dickens. A prime example of this is [...]

Lecture 19: Appreciations and Criticisms

In discussing his monumental biography of Charles Dickens, Peter Ackroyd made the equally monumental claim that he had read everything ever written by and about Dickens. But he was not saying this to boast; he was saying it to give weight to his claim that the best writer on Dickens is G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton’s intimacy [...]

Pickwick Papers

There are those who deny with enthusiasm the existence of a God and are happy in a hobby which they call the Mistakes of Moses. I have not studied their labours in detail, but it seems that the chief mistake of Moses was that he neglected to write the Pentateuch. The lesser errors, apparently, were [...]

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The greatest of Shakespeare's comedies is also, from a certain point of view, the greatest of his plays. No one would maintain that it occupied this position in the matter of psychological study if by psychological study we mean the study of individual characters in a play. No one would maintain that Puck was a [...]

History Versus the Historians

In my innocent and ardent youth I had a fixed fancy. I held that children in a school ought to be taught history, and ought to be taught nothing else. The story of human society is the only fundamental framework outside of religion in which everything can fall into its place. A boy cannot see [...]

Lecture 3: Twelve Types (and Varied Types)

Chesterton’s second book of essays, Twelve Types, (1903) has actually been misshelved with books about printing. But the “types” here are people, not print. They are literary and historical figures, ranging from Charlotte Bronte, William Morris, and Sir Walter Scott to Byron, Pope, Charles II, Carlyle, Tolstoy, and Savonarola.The dozen essays, first written for the [...]

Quotations of G. K. Chesterton

Some of the most celebrated and notorious G.K. Chesterton quotations. Share them. All of them. Topics Timeless Truths | Free Advice | The Cult of Progress | War and Politics | Government and Politics | Society and Culture | Love, Marriage, and the Sexes | Religion and Faith | Christmas | Morality and Truth | [...]

Gilbert Vol. 13.3

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD | Ordering instructions: Upon completion of your order, you will be sent an email containing a one-time only hyperlink to download your purchase (accessible for 24 hours). Please note, you will be prompted to sign in to your account prior to download. Gilbert Vol. 13 No. 3 | December 2009 4 | Tremendous [...]

Gilbert Vol. 3.3

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD | Ordering instructions: Upon completion of your order, you will be sent an email containing a one-time only hyperlink to download your purchase (accessible for 24 hours). Please note, you will be prompted to sign in to your account prior to download. Gilbert Vol. 3 No. 3 | Dec 1999 6 | Straws [...]

Gilbert Vol. 2.8

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD | Ordering instructions: Upon completion of your order, you will be sent an email containing a one-time only hyperlink to download your purchase (accessible for 24 hours). Please note, you will be prompted to sign in to your account prior to download. Gilbert Vol. 2 No. 8 | Jul-Aug 1999 6 | Straws [...]

Gilbert Vol. 1.3

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD | Ordering instructions: Upon completion of your order, you will be sent an email containing a one-time only hyperlink to download your purchase (accessible for 24 hours). Please note, you will be prompted to sign in to your account prior to download. Gilbert Vol. 1 No. 3 | Nov 1997 6 | A [...]

Gilbert Vol. 1.2

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD | Ordering instructions: Upon completion of your order, you will be sent an email containing a one-time only hyperlink to download your purchase (accessible for 24 hours). Please note, you will be prompted to sign in to your account prior to download. Gilbert Vol. 1 No. 2 | Oct 1997 10 | On [...]

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