Talk:G. K. Chesterton

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Tentative Sources[edit]

If is to be believed, the quote "you can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it." is from Daily News 25 Feb 1905 01:53, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Worth Adding?[edit]

Wonder if this is worth adding.

"A thoroughly strong man swinging a sledge-hammer can tap the top of an eggshell. A weaker man swinging a sledge-hammer will break the table which it stands into pieces. Also, if he is a very weak man, he will be proud of broken the table, and call himself a strong man dowered with the destructive power of an Imperial race…"

G. K. Chesterton -from Robert Louis Stevenson (1902)

It would be; if we could find it in Robert Louis Stevenson. I cannot here. It does have a Chestertonian ring to it, though.--2001:A61:260C:C01:55F9:F847:E5EE:A32F 15:34, 3 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Am I Allowed to Add/Worth Adding?[edit]

I stumbled upon some recordings of G.K. Chesterton himself, and I was wondering if I'm allowed to put them up. They can be found on Youtube. Moreover, if I am allowed to put them up, are they even worth putting up?


  • 'Free verse'? You may as well call sleeping in a ditch 'free architecture.'
  • The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
  • The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.
    • Superior version, from Magic: A Fantastic Comedy:
      • I object to a quarrel because it always interrupts an argument. 22:38, 11 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


These do not belong into an encyclopedia. They have NO INFORMATIONAL VALUE. Please remove.

It's a tradition of Wikiquote to include a collection of illustrations on the pages. Personally, I think that's a great idea, as it looks beautiful. 22:45, 15 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Chesterton's quotes are, at the very least, provocative of thought, even in angry reply. I would think that that would be of great value to those who can handle the challenge of the examined life.

"Fairy tales" quotation[edit]

What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.

This is sourced to Tremendous Trifles; I don't own this book myself to check its correctness, but the same source is given for the quotation in Martin Gardner's Annotated Father Brown.

Fairy tales are more than true — not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.

This is given no source other than the nebulous "As quoted in Coraline (2004) by Neil Gaiman, epigraph." Unless someone can provide a source for Chesterton having written these words, I suspect this is simply Gaiman abbreviating the above quotation. 22:40, 14 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The first quote is correct, and may be found on page 130 of the 1910 edition in essay XVII, "The Red Angel". (There are several online editions of Tremendous Trifles, e.g. Project Gutenberg and Wikisource.) The earliest source I can find for the second is the attribution by Gaiman, so I share your skepticism. The attribution has been repeated fairly widely since then (even in introductions to reprints of Chesterton's works!) so I moved and annotated it as a "variant." ~ Ningauble 14:02, 15 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
FWIW, Neil Gaiman addressed this on his blog. He did indeed misquote Chesterson:

Some additional source information[edit]

For the the following quote:

  • Earnest Freethinkers need not worry themselves so much about the persecutions of the past. Before the Liberal idea is dead or triumphant we shall see wars and persecutions the like of which the world has never seen.
    • Daily News, 18th February 1905

I would like to offer additional sourcing as follows -

    • as cited in G.K. Chesterton: the apostle of common sense (2003), Dale Ahlquist, Ignatius Press, p. 181 (Chapter XVI – Conclusion: Chesterton For Today) : ISBN 0898708575, 9780898708578
    • and as cited in Things Past (reprint,1979), Malcolm Muggeridge, Morrow, p. 148 : ISBN 0688034454, 9780688034450

Given the length of the main page, & near-identical source information for other quotes, I felt that the Discussion page might be a better place for the above info. CononOfSamos (talk) 16:41, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The first "misattributed" quotation actually does exist: "An open mind is really a mark of foolishness, like an open mouth. Mouths and minds were made to shut; they were made to open only in order to shut.” (Appears in an essay in Illustrated London News from October 10, 1908, p. 196 of his Collected Works, vol. 28, ISBN 0898701384)

Where Should I be?[edit]

Chesterton once famously sent his wife a telegram which said "am in East Norwich. Where should I be?" Include? 19:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This certainly does belong into his wikipedia article. As for quotes, I'd say: only if either it appears in a book authored by Chesterton, in an anthology of quotes of Chesterton, or, possibly, if this wikiquote article would have an "attributed quotes" section.--2001:A61:260C:C01:55F9:F847:E5EE:A32F 15:37, 3 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Source of Quote[edit]

What is the source of the following: "Life is indeed terribly complicated—to a man who has lost his principles." I've heard it before, but I can't seem to come up with anything that sources it. It sounds like the kind of thing Chesterton would say, but I want to make sure it's legit.