GK CHesteron

Reading G Keith Chesterton

Reading G Keith Chesterton

GK CHesteron

GK Chesterton

Reading the Classics

George Elliot Novels

Cosmos’s Reading List 2021

1001 Books to Read Before You Die List

As some of you might know, I am reading the classics these days.  I picked a three-volume series called  “50 Books You Must Read Before You Die” (free Kindle classic collection item) and started with volume three, and the Harvard classic collection (also a free Kindle classic item).  I recently finished reading the Gilbert Keith Chesterton selections.  Specifically, I read the following four items.

The Wisdom of Father Brown [Gilbert Keith Chesterton]
– Heretics [Gilbert Keith Chesterton]
– The Donnington Affair [Gilbert Keith Chesterton] another Father Brown story
– The Innocence of Father Brown [Gilbert Keith Chesterton]

He was a towering figure in British intellectual life – a social conservative who became a Catholic.  He was friends with George Bernard Shaw and HG Wells and engaged in spirited debates with both during his life.  He wrote over 80 books on a wide range of topics. He was described as a big man who was very absent-minded, leaving his wife to take care of most mundane things.  I can relate to that.

Reading these selections, particularly the three Father Brown selections from the viewpoint of the early 21st century, presents some challenges.  Like most writers of his era -late 19th century -mid 20th century, his writing sounds very ablest, anti-Semitic, colonist, elitist, racist, and sexist.  Of course, a writer in that era would simply not recognize the ablest, anti-Semitic, colonist, elitist, racist, and sexist aspects of his work, nor would he or she particularly care.  So, I noted that and moved on.

comments greatly appreciated.

He is perhaps most famous for his Father Brown stories.  (i had heard of these stories a long time ago). There is a BBC mini-series based on these stories that I would love to track down and watch someday.  Father Brown is an interesting fictional detective.  He reminds me a bit of Hercules Perot of Agatha Christie fame, or perhaps a bit of Sherlock Holmes as well.  Father Brown is a Catholic priest in England who develops a reputation as an amateur detective as he solves cases through his superior analytical ability, as well as his thinking outside the box to use a more modern idiom.  He travels around England, and France often with his friend, Flambeau who is a French detective, whom Father Brown convinces to turn away from a life of crime and go straight.

Each of the stories is both a stand-alone story and fits a larger narrative as the characters evolve through time.

I suppose my favorites were

“The Wrong Shape”, The Saturday Evening Post, 10 December 1910.

“The Sins of Prince Sardine”, The Saturday Evening Post, 22 April 1911.

The Hammer of God (as “The Bolt from the Blue”, The Saturday Evening Post, 5 November 1910.

“The Eye of Apollo”, The Saturday Evening Post, 25 February 1911.

“The Sign of the Broken Sword”, The Saturday Evening Post, 7 January 1911.

“The Fairy Tale of Father Brown”

My least favorite was

“The God of the Gongs” – because the racism in this story is just too much to deal with. The main murderer is a half-African from somewhere in the US who is a fighter but is accused of being a member of a Voodoo cult.  They used the N-word throughout to describe him and his cult members.

The complete list follows:

. The Innocence of Father Brown, 1911

“The Blue Cross”, The Story-Teller, September 1910; first published as “Valentin Follows a Curious Trail”, The Saturday Evening Post, 23 July 1910

“The Secret Garden”, The Story-Teller, October 1910. (The Saturday Evening Post, Sep 3, 1910)

“The Queer Feet”, The Story-Teller, November 1910. (The Saturday Evening Post, Oct 1, 1910)

“The Flying Stars”, The Saturday Evening Post, 20 May 1911.

“The Invisible Man”, The Saturday Evening Post, 28 January 1911. (Cassell’s Magazine, Feb 1911)

The Honour of Israel Gow (as “The Strange Justice”, The Saturday Evening Post, 25 March 1911.

“The Wrong Shape”, The Saturday Evening Post, 10 December 1910.

“The Sins of Prince Saradine”, The Saturday Evening Post, 22 April 1911.

The Hammer of God (as “The Bolt from the Blue”, The Saturday Evening Post, 5 November 1910.

“The Eye of Apollo”, The Saturday Evening Post, 25 February 1911.

“The Sign of the Broken Sword”, The Saturday Evening Post, 7 January 1911.

“The Three Tools of Death”, The Saturday Evening Post, 24 June 1911.

  1. The Wisdom of Father Brown (1914)

“The Absence of Mr. Glass”, McClure’s Magazine, November 1912.

“The Paradise of Thieves”, McClure’s Magazine, March 1913.

“The Duel of Dr. Hirsch”

“The Man in the Passage”, McClure’s Magazine, April 1913.

“The Mistake of the Machine”

“The Head of Caesar”, The Pall Mall Magazine, June 1913.

“The Purple Wig”, The Pall Mall Magazine, May 1913.

“The Perishing of the Pendragons”, The Pall Mall Magazine, June 1914.

“The God of the Gongs”

“The Salad of Colonel Cray”

“The Strange Crime of John Boulnois”, McClure’s Magazine, February 1913.

“The Fairy Tale of Father Brown”

The Incredulity of Father Brown (1926)

(I have not read these stories, but might track it down someday, mainly to see how these stories differ from his earlier stories, as they were written after World War 1 and the previous stories were written pre-war).

“The Resurrection of Father Brown”

“The Arrow of Heaven” (Nash’s Pall Mall Magazine, Jul 1925)

“The Oracle of the Dog” (Nash’s [PMM], Dec 1923)

“The Miracle of Moon Crescent” (Nash’s [PMM], May 1924)

“The Curse of the Golden Cross” (Nash’s [PMM], May 1925)

“The Dagger with Wings” (Nash’s [PMM], Feb 1924)

“The Doom of the Darnaways” (Nash’s [PMM], Jun 1925)

“The Ghost of Gideon Wise” (Cassell’s Magazine, Apr 1926)

  1. The Secret of Father Brown (1927)

(Also not read)

“The Secret of Father Brown” (framing story)

“The Mirror of the Magistrate”

“The Man with Two Beards”

“The Song of the Flying Fish”

“The Actor and the Alibi”

“The Vanishing of Vaudrey” (Harper’s Magazine, Oct 1925)

“The Worst Crime in the World”

“The Red Moon of Meru”

“The Chief Mourner of Marne” (Harper’s Magazine, May 1925)

“The Secret of Flambeau” (framing story)

  1. The Scandal of Father Brown (1935)

“The Scandal of Father Brown”, The Story-Teller, November 1933

“The Quick One”, The Saturday Evening Post, 25 November 1933

“The Blast of the Book/The Five Fugitives” (Liberty Aug 26, 1933)

“The Green Man” (Ladies Home Journal, November 1930)

“The Pursuit of Mr. Blue”

“The Crime of the Communist” (Collier’s Weekly, Jul 14, 1934)

“The Point of a Pin” (The Saturday Evening Post, Sep 17, 1932)

“The Insoluble Problem” (The Story-Teller, Mar 1935)

“The Vampire of the Village” (Strand Magazine, August 1936); included in later editions of The Scandal of Father Brown

  1. Uncollected Stories (1914, 1936)

“The Donnington Affair” (The Premier, November 1914; written with Max Pemberton)


“The Mask of Midas” (1936)

Wiki Summation

Gilbert Keith Chesterton KC*SG (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was an English writer,[2] philosopherlay theologian, and literary and art critic. He has been referred to as the “prince of paradox“.[3] Time magazine observed his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.”[4]

Chesterton created the fictional priest-detective Father Brown,[5] and wrote on apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognized the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man.[4][6] Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an “orthodox” Christian and came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Roman Catholicism from high church Anglicanism. Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew ArnoldThomas CarlyleJohn Henry Newman, and John Ruskin.[7]

For more information see the following sites

en.wikipedia.org › wiki › GG. K. Chesterton – Wikipedia

  1. K. Chesterton (2nd cousin) Signature. Gilbert Keith Chesterton KC*SG (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was an English writer, [2] philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic. He has been referred to as the “prince of paradox “. [3]

Alma mater: Slade School of ArtUniversity College London

Genre: Essays, fantasyChristian apologeticsCatholic apologeticsmysterypoetry

Education: St Paul’s School

Spouse: Frances Blogg ​(m. 1901)​

www.britannica.com › biography › G-K-ChestertonG.K. Chesterton | British author | Britannica

Jun 10, 2022, · G.K. Chesterton, in full Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (born May 29, 1874, London, England—died June 14, 1936, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire), English critic and author of verse, essays, novels, and short stories, known also for his exuberant personality and rotund figure.

www.thefamouspeople.com › profiles › gilbert-kGilbert K. Chesterton Biography – Facts, Childhood, Family …

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, better known as G. K. Chesterton, was a prominent literary figure in 20th-century London. He was a highly versatile individual who was as respected as a writer as he was for being an orator and Christian apologist.

www.online-literature.com › chestertonGilbert Keith Chesterton – Biography and Works. Search Texts …

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was a prolific English critic and author of verse, essays, novels, and short stories. He is probably best known for his series about the priest-detective Father Brown who appeared in 50 stories. Between 1900 and 1936 Chesterton published some one hundred books.

allpoetry.com › Gilbert-Keith-ChestertonGilbert Keith Chesterton – Poems by the Famous Poet – All Poetry

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England on the 29th of May, 1874. Though he considered himself a mere ‘rollicking journalist,’ he was a prolific and gifted writer in virtually every area of literature.




On Modern Philosophies

Jan 22, 2020




On Confession

Jan 22, 2020




Prayer for the Intercession of G.K. Chesterton

Apr 5, 2022


Gilbert Keith Chesterton – Book Series In Order

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was one of the critically acclaimed English novelists, orator, poet, journalist, biographer, philosopher, art and literary critic, and dramatist. He was better known by the name G.K. Chesterton and was often regarded as the ‘paradox prince’.

www.azquotes.com › author › 2799-Gilbert_K_ChestertonTOP 25 QUOTES BY GILBERT K. CHESTERTON (of 1328) | A-Z Quotes

Jun 14, 2017, · Gilbert K. Chesterton Life, Hate, Passion 126 Copy quote But the truth is that it is only by believing in God that we can ever criticize the Government. Once abolish God is, the Government becomes God. Gilbert K. Chesterton Believe, Russia, Government “Christendom in Dublin”.

The complete list of the classics I am reading follows – bolded means I have read them.

“50 Masterpieces You Have to Read Before You Die”

Started reading the first one of volume 3

Bolded indicated I have read it.

Vol 3

This book contains the following works arranged alphabetically by authors’ last names

– What’s Bred in the Bone [Grant Allen]
– The Golden Ass [Lucius Apuleius]
– Meditations [Marcus Aurelius]
– Northanger Abbey [Jane Austen]
– Lady Susan [Jane Austen]
– The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [Lyman Frank Baum]
– The Art of Public Speaking [Dale Breckenridge Carnegie]
– The Blazing World [Margaret Cavendish]
– The Wisdom of Father Brown [Gilbert Keith Chesterton]
– Heretics [Gilbert Keith Chesterton]
– The Donnington Affair [Gilbert Keith Chesterton]
– The Innocence of Father Brown [Gilbert Keith Chesterton]
– Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [John Cleland]
– The Moonstone [Wilkie Collins]
– Lord Jim [Joseph Conrad]
– The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe [Daniel Defoe]
The Pickwick Papers [Charles Dickens]
– A Christmas Carol [Charles Dickens]
– Notes From The Underground [Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky]
– The Gambler par Fyodor [Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky]
– The Lost World [Arthur Conan Doyle]
– The Hound of the Baskervilles [Arthur Conan Doyle]
– The Sign of the Four [Arthur Conan Doyle]
– The Man in the Iron Mask [Alexandre Dumas]
– The Three Musketeers [Alexandre Dumas]
– This Side of Paradise [Francis Scott Fitzgerald]
Curious, If True: Strange Tales [Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell]
King Solomon’s Mines [Henry Rider Haggard]
– The Hunchback of Notre Dame [Victor Hugo]
Kim [Rudyard Kipling]
– Captains Courageous [Rudyard Kipling]
– The Jungle Book [Rudyard Kipling]
Lady Chatterley’s Lover [David Herbert Lawrence]
– The Son of the Wolf [Jack London]
The Einstein Theory of Relativity [Hendrik Antoon Lorentz]
The Dunwich Horror [Howard Phillips Lovecraft]
– At the Mountains of Madness [Howard Phillips Lovecraft]
The Prince [Niccolò Machiavelli]
– The Story Girl [Lucy Maud Montgomery]
The Antichrist [Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche]
– The Republic [Plato]
– The Last Man [Mary Shelley]
Life On The Mississippi [Mark Twain]
– The Kama Sutra [Vatsyayana]
– In the Year 2889 [Jules Verne]
Around the World in Eighty Days [Jules Verne]
Four Just Men [Edgar Wallace]
– Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ [Lewis Wallace]
Tales of Space and Time [H. G. Wells]
Jacob’s Room [Virginia Woolf]

Vol 1

Alcott, Louisa May: Little Women
Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice
Austen, Jane: Emma
Balzac, Honoré de: Father Goriot
Barbusse, Henri: The Inferno
Brontë, Anne: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Brontë, Charlotte: Jane Eyre
Brontë, Emily: Wuthering Heights
Burroughs, Edgar Rice: Tarzan of the Apes
Butler, Samuel: The Way of All Flesh
Carroll, Lewis: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Cather, Willa: My Ántonia
Cervantes, Miguel de: Don Quixote
Chopin, Kate: The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness
Conrad, Joseph: Nostromo
Cooper, James Fenimore: The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen: The Red Badge of Courage
Cummings, E. E.: The Enormous Room
Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe
Defoe, Daniel: Moll Flanders
Dickens, Charles: Bleak House
Dickens, Charles: Great Expectations
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor: The Idiot
Doyle, Arthur Conan: The Hound of the Baskervilles
Dreiser, Theodore: Sister Carrie
Dumas, Alexandre: The Three Musketeers
Dumas, Alexandre: The Count of Monte Cristo
Eliot, George: Middlemarch
Fielding, Henry: Tom Jones
Flaubert, Gustave: Madame Bovary
Flaubert, Gustave: Sentimental Education
Ford, Ford Madox: The Good Soldier
Forster, E. M.: A Room With a View
Forster, E. M.: Howards End
Gaskell, Elizabeth: North and South
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von: The Sorrows of Young Werther
Gogol, Nikolai: Dead Souls
Gorky, Maxim: The Mother
Haggard, H. Rider: King Solomon’s Mines
Hardy, Thomas: Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter
Homer: The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hugo, Victor: Les Misérables
Huxley, Aldous: Crome Yellow
James, Henry: The Portrait of a Lady

Volume 2

– Little Women [Louisa May Alcott]
– Sense and Sensibility [Jane Austen]
– Peter Pan (Peter and Wendy) [J.M. Barrie]
– Cabin Fever [ B. M. Bower]
– The Secret Garden [Frances Hodgson Burnett]
– A Little Princess [Frances Hodgson Burnett]
– Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [Lewis Carroll]
– The King in Yellow [Robert William Chambers]
– The Man Who Knew Too Much [Gilbert Keith Chesterton]
– The Woman in White [Wilkie Collins]
– The Most Dangerous Game [Richard Connell]
– On the Origin of Species, 6th Edition [Charles Darwin]
– Robinson Crusoe [Daniel Defoe]
– The Iron Woman [Margaret Deland]
– David Copperfield [Charles Dickens]
– Oliver Twist [Charles Dickens]
– A Tale of Two Cities [Charles Dickens]
– The Double [Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky]
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes [Arthur Conan Doyle]
– The Three Musketeers [Alexandre Dumas]
– The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [Francis Scott Fitzgerald]
– Dream Psychology [Sigmund Freud]
– Tess of the d’Urbervilles [Thomas Hardy]
– Siddhartha [Hermann Hesse]
– The Fall of the House of Usher [Edgar Allan Poe]
– The Arabian Nights [Andrew Lang]
– The Sea Wolf [Jack London]
– The Call of Cthulhu [Howard Phillips Lovecraft]
– Anne of Green Gables [Lucy Maud Montgomery]
– Beyond Good and Evil [Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche]
– The Murders in the Rue Morgue [Edgar Allan Poe]
– The Black Cat [Edgar Allan Poe]
– The Raven [Edgar Allan Poe]
– Swann’s Way [Marcel Proust]
– Romeo and Juliet [William Shakespeare]
– Treasure Island [Robert Louis Stevenson]
– The Elements of Style [William Strunk Jr.

Harvard Classics

 (1) Franklin, Woolman, Penn

 (2) Plato, Epictetus,

 Marcus, Aurelius Meditations

 (3) Bacon, Milton’s Prose, Thomas Browne

(4) Complete Poems in English: Milton

(5) Essays and English Traits: Emerson (

6) Poems and Songs: Burns (7)

Confessions of St. Augustine. Imitation of Christ

(8) Nine Greek Dramas (9) Letters and Treatises of Cicero and Pliny

(10) Wealth of Nations: Adam Smith

(11) Origin of Species: Darwin

(12) Plutarch’s Lives (13)

 Aeneid Virgil (14)

Don Quixote Part 1: Cervantes

(15)Pilgrim’s Progress. Donne

Herbert. Bunyan, Walton

(16) The Thousand and One Nights

(17) Folk-Lore and Fable. Aesop, Grimm, Andersen

(18) Modern English Drama

(19) Faust, Egmont Etc. Doctor Faustus, Goethe, Marlowe

(20) The Divine Comedy: Dante

(21) I Promessi Sposi, Manzoni

(22) The Odyssey: Homer

(23) Two Years Before the Mast. Dana

(24) On the Sublime French Revolution Etc. Burke

(25) Autobiography Etc. Essays and Addresses: J.S. Mill, T. Carlyle

(26) Continental Drama

(27) English Essays: Sidney to Macaulay

(28) Essays. English and American

(29) Voyage of the Beagle: Darwin (

30) Faraday, Helmholtz, Kelvin, Newcomb, Geikie

(31) Autobiography: Benvenuto, Cellini

(32) Literary and Philosophical Essays: Montaigne, Sainte Beuve, Renan, Lessing, Schiller, Kant, Mazzini

(33) Voyages and Travels

(34) Descartes, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hobbes

(35) Chronicle and Romance: Froissart, Malory, Holinshed (36)

Machiavelli, More, Luther

(37) Locke, Berkeley, Hume

(38) Harvey, Jenner, Lister, Pasteur

(39) Famous Prefaces

(40) English Poetry 1: Chaucer to Gray

(41) English Poetry 2: Collins to Fitzgerald

(42) English Poetry 3: Tennyson to Whitman

(43) American Historical Documents

(44) Sacred Writings 1

(45) Sacred Writings 2

(46) Elizabethan Drama 1

(47) Elizabethan Drama 2

(48) Thoughts and Minor Works: Pascal

(49) Epic and Saga (

Federalist Papers

the End 


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