10 Great Quotes from G. K. Chesterton

You can quote us on this: G. K. Chesterton – or Gilbert Keith Chesterton, to give him his full name – was born on this day in 1874. What better reason could one want for proffering ten of his finest one-liners? We hope you enjoy these marvellous Chestertonian quotes.

There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. – Heretics (1905) 

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.Alarms and Discursions (1910) 

Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable. – Illustrated London News (1909) 

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.A Short History of England (1917) 

Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction … for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it. – The Club of Queer Trades (1905)


A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. – Heretics (1905)

To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it. – The Innocence of Father Brown (1911)

We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbour. – Heretics (1905)

An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.All Things Considered (1908)

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.Orthodoxy (1908)

Image: G. K. Chesterton at work, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.


  1. Pingback: Rights | Kevin Barrett's Blog

  2. Reblogged this on Contemplans Profundes and commented:
    A bevy of quotes from the great Chesterton :)

  3. Pingback: Take Flight | Kevin Barrett's Blog

  4. Have to say that the last quote made me smile inside “angels can fly because they take themselves lightly”, the guy had a sense of humour. Another author I´ll have to check out, thank´s as always.

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

  6. Reblogged this on My open Journal and commented:
    I absolutely love G.K. Chesterton and this list of quotes are phenomenal

  7. Thank you for this post! These lines are so enjoyable and wise!! 😊

  8. Hooray Chesterton! Thank you for this.

  9. Pingback: A good reason to celebrate | Stella Maris Art

  10. Some tremendous truths, especially the one about the paucity of poems on cheese.

  11. Wonderful quotes!

  12. Reblogged this on Book Geeks Anonymous and commented:
    When I first started this blog, I meant to write pieces about several famous authors and post them on the author’s birthdays. Accordingly, I looked up the birthdays of tons of authors, made a list, and got to work writing some of my posts. But one of the authors whose birthday I forgot to look up is G. K. Chesterton! One of the coolest! And seeing as I don’t have time to write an original post, I’ll just reblog this from Interesting Literature.

  13. Wonderful post. Thank you! Strangely enough, my boyfriend and I were talking about Chesterton last night for the first time ever, completely unaware about his birthday.

  14. Loved the quotes – just had to reblog. Thanks for remindingg me of the many wonderful sayings I’ve missed.

  15. Reblogged this on Owls and Orchids and commented:
    Which quote do you like? I love “A Short History of England” and “The Club if Wueer Trades”. They are both so good I couldn’t pick just one.
    Susan 💖

  16. Take them slowly. One story every now and then. Don’t read one after the other. They are like good cream cakes. One is wonderful; two at a push.

  17. Cheese is underrated and misunderstood. It is full of holes and yet can be solid, it can be flaky and yet wet and moist. It is tasty, tangy and sharp.

  18. The last one was simply beautiful.

  19. What WONDERFUL, pithy and profound quotes. I love the ones from Heretics, which I haven’t read (and now must) I loved The Man Who Was Thursday VERY much. Which of course is long out of copyright and available as a free Kindle download (I can feel a re-read a-looming.

    Not a quote from one of his books, but isn’t it G.K. Chesterton who, a little absent-mindedly professorish, is the one who sent a possibly apocryphal telegraph to his wife, having got off a train at (? can’t remember the location) saying:

    Am at (? location). STOP. Where should i be STOP

    • That’s right! It was at Market Harborough, which somehow makes it funnier (no offence to anyone from Market Harborough intended). It’s probably my second favourite literary telegram, after the one that Robert Benchley sent from Venice: ‘Streets flooded. Please advise.’

  20. Being from Wisconsin, I can understand his lament on the subject of cheese!

  21. Thoughtful. Thanks for posting this.

  22. I now want to hear a great poem on the subject of cheese…. !

  23. Have you read the Father Brown stories? Excellent character portrait, but after I’ve read twenty I’ve had my fill!

    • Exactly my experience – one I’d gone through the first two volumes, I’d read all I wanted to – I have the rest on my shelf for a rainy day, but they’re (as yet) unread!

  24. Wonderful. There’s actually a memorial to GK Chesterton on the seafront in Sitges, near Barcelona. Apparently, he loved the place. It’s funny to think of such an English author having a strong connection with Spain.