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

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In Defense of Sanity

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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 too many of them. Over five thousand! For most GKC readers it is not even possible to know where to start or how to begin to approach them.

So three of the world's leading authorities on Chesterton - Dale Ahlquist, Joseph Pearce, Aidan Mackey - have joined together to select the "best" Chesterton essays, a collection that will be appreciated by both the newcomer and the seasoned student of this great 20th century man of letters.

The variety of topics are astounding:  barbarians, architects, mystics, ghosts, fireworks, rain, juries, gargoyles and much more. Plus a look at Shakespeare, Dickens, Jane Austen, George MacDonald, T.S. Eliot, and the Bible. All in that inimitable, formidable but always quotable style of GKC. Even more astounding than the variety is the continuity of Chesterton's thought that ties everything together. A veritable feast for the mind and heart.

While some of the essays in this volume may be familiar, many of them are collected here for the first time, making their first appearance in over a century.

G. K. Chesterton was one of the most beloved writers of the 20th century, quoted more often than any other writer. He wrote dozens of popular books on numerous topics, as well as thousands of essays. His books include Orthodoxy, The Everlasting Man, The Man Who Was Thursday, Father Brown Stories and many more.

Dale Ahlquist is the President of the G. K. Chesterton Society, and the author of three books on Chesterton, including The Apostle of Common Sense and Common Sense 101.

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Aidan Mackey
Preface by Joseph Pearce
Introduction by Dale Ahlquist

Introduction to The Defendant (The Defendant, 1901)
A Defense of Skeletons (The Defendant, 1901)
On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family (Heretics, 1905)
On Running After One's Hat (All Things Considered , 1908)
Woman (All Things Considered, 1908)
A Piece of Chalk (Tremendous Trifles, 1909)
What I Found in My Pocket (Tremendous Trifle, 1909)
On Lying in Bed (Tremendous Trifle, 1909)
 The Diabolist (Tremendous Trifle, 1909)
The Twelve Men (Tremendous Trifle, 1909)
 The Shop of Ghosts (Tremendous Trifle, 1909)
The Romantic in the Rain (A Miscellany of Men, 1912)
The Mad Official (A Miscellany of Men, 1912)
The Mystagogue (A Miscellany of Men, 1912)
The Architect of Spears (A Miscellany of Men, 1912)
Don't (Daily News, May 7, 1901)
The Mystery of the Mystics (Daily News, August 30, 1901 )
A Much Repeated Repetition (Daily News, March 26, 1904)
The Maxims of Maxim (Daily News, February 25, 1905)
The Book of Job (GKC as MC, 1929)
Cheese (Alarms and Discursions, 1910)
On Gargoyles (Alarms and Discursions, 1910)
The Fading Fireworks (Alarms and Discursions, 1910)
The Furrows (Alarms and Discursions, 1910)
The Meaning of Dreams (Lunacy and Letters, 1958) 
On Being Moved (Lunacy and Letters, 1958) 
The Pickwick Papers (Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens, 1911)
The Bluff of the Big Shops (The Outline of Sanity, 1926)
On Architecture (Generally Speaking, 1928)
On Shakespeare (Generally Speaking, 1928)
The Slavery of Free Verse (Fancies vs. Fads, 1923)
Turning Inside Out (Fancies vs. Fads, 1923)
On Turnpikes and Mediaevalism (All I Survey, 1933)
The Drift from Domesticity (The Thing, 1929)
On Vulgarity (Come to Think of It, 1930)
On a Humiliating Heresy (Come to Think of It, 1930)
On Original Sin (Come to Think of It, 1930)
On Jane Austen in the General Election (Come to Think of It, 1930)
On Essays (Come to Think of It, 1930)
On Evil Euphemisms (Come to Think of It, 1930)
A Plea for Prohibition (Sidelights, 1932)
The American ideal (Sidelights, 1932)
Marriage and the Modern Mind (Sidelights, 1932)
Magic and Fantasy in Fiction (Sidelights, 1932)
On the New Prudery (Avowals and Denials, 1934)
 On the Return of the Barbarian (Avowals and Denials, 1934)
 On Man: Heir of All the Ages (Avowals and Denials, 1934)
 On the Instability of the State (Avowals and Denials, 1934)
The Romance of Childhood (All is Grist, 1931)
The Surrender upon Sex (The Well and the Shallows, 1935)
Reflections on a Rotten Apple (The Well and the Shallows, 1935)
Babies and Distributism (The Well and the Shallows, 1935)
The Rout of Reason (Where Are the Dead?, 1928)
Mary Queen of Scots (Revelations, 1931)
George MacDonald (GKC as MC, 1929)
Tolerating Other Religions (Illustrated London News, May 31, 1913)
The Efficiency of the Police (Illustrated London News , April 1, 1922)
About Beliefs (As I Was Saying, 1936)
Two Stubborn Pieces of Iron (The Common Man, 1950)
The Revival of Philosophy - Why? (The Common Man, 1950)
If I Had Only Sermon to Preach (The Common Man, 1950)
Scipio and the Children (The Spice of Life, 1964)
The Philosophy of Islands (The Spice of Life, 1964)
 The Artistic Side (The Coloured Lands, 1938)
What Is Right with the World (The Apostle and the Wild Ducks, 1975)
The Spice of Life (The Spice of Life, 1964)


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