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The Ballad of the White Horse


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The Ballad of the White Horse is both an important work of literature and a continuing source of encouragement to modern Christians facing increasing secular pressures. Against the backdrop of England’s ninth-century battle with pagan Danes, Chesterton’s poem conveys a personal message to Christians mediated through the figure of King Alfred. Alfred must learn and re-learn subtle, paradoxical lessons about the hope, humility, and joy necessary to confront trial and evil on earth.

Seton Press creates a newly annotated version of this beloved poem in order to make its timely message accessible to modern Christian readers. The variety of new study tools in this edition include the following:

  • Comprehensive footnotes that aid thematic appreciation, referencing the Bible, history, legend, epic, and myth, along with numerous vocabulary helps.
  • Thought-provoking introduction, using words of Pope Benedict as a departure point, that examines how Chesterton’s nuanced ballad “weeds” complacent Christians of false expectations of ease, and discovers the true nature of Christian joy.
  • Section on the poetic elements of the Ballad, exploring structure, meter, poetic devices and other technical elements.
  • Chapter summaries for each “Book” of the Ballad that outline the basic plot and message of that chapter.
  • Text boxes next to challenging stanzas that rephrase the content in simpler terms
  • Detailed map of ninth-century England that gives the reader a visual reference for the many locations mentioned in the book.
  • Illustrations that visually communicate key moments of the story.
  • References page with several analytical and critical works from past to very recent which were consulted in the preparation of this edition.
  • Suitable for high school students and above.
Weight .9 lbs
Dimensions 6.5 × 0.5 × 9 in




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