Reading Chesterton: Where to Begin
A selection of titles by G.K. Chesterton for readers looking for a place to start:
- Autobiography: Life through his own eyes as only Chesterton can paint it.
- The Everlasting Man: A history of humanity, Christ, and Christianity which serves to some extent as a rebuttal of H.G. Wells’s Outline of History. This book greatly influenced the faith of C.S. Lewis.
- The Innocence of Father Brown: The first collection of detection short stories featuring Chesterton’s famous Catholic priest and brilliant detective, Father Brown.
- The Man Who Was Thursday: What is often described as a “metaphysical mystery thriller” and one of Chesterton’s finest novels. The setting is Edwardian era London and Gabriel Syme, poet and amateur police detective, is on assignment to investigate a ring of anarchists with conclusions no one could have foreseen.
- Orthodoxy: G.K. Chesterton’s highly regarded work of apologetics and his spiritual autobiography. This work forms the core of all that is Chesterton. If you only read one book by G.K. Chesterton, let it be this one.
- Ahlquist, Dale. “Who is this Guy and Why Haven’t I Heard of Him?” American Chesterton Society website.
- Chesterton, G.K. The Autobiography of G.K. Chesterton. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006.
- Pearce, Joseph. Wisdom and Innocence: a Life of G.K. Chesterton. San Francisco: St. Ignatius Press, 1996.
- Ward, Maisie. Gilbert Keith Chesterton. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.
Other Primary with Chesterton Materials
[Note that for many of the Wade authors there are numerous smaller collections which hold primary materials in addition to those listed above. For more information, contact the Wade Center archival staff.]