Everlasting Man by GK Chesterton


If you’re interested in poetry, try Chesterton’s Lepanto. Hillare Belloc said it is possibly the greatest poem of the century.

You’ll need a commentary, as GK uses tons of allusions that are not self-evident.

Chesterton is certainly an author every Catholic intellectual ought to be reading.


Just started reading him this year–like many others, I’m amazed that he isn’t tremendously well-known (hadn’t ever heard of him before), what with the incredibly luminous insights in his writing. So far I’ve read Orthodoxy, Everlasting Man, St. Francis of Assisi, and am currently reading St. Thomas Aquinas. I’ve also seen the show about him on EWTN. I really feel like a new door to wisdom has been opened to me with the discovery of Chesterton, and I look forward to a long line of enlightening reads. Amazing the output that he accomplished, and the quality. He’s exactly what today’s post-modern society needs: a good dose of common sense!

Incidentally, my favourite author is J.R.R. Tolkien and has been since childhood (when I read *The Hobbit *and Lord of the Rings), and there is clearly a continuity of thought between these men. The chapter “Ethics of Elfland” in Orthodoxy perfectly illustrates the motivation behind Tolkien’s idea of apologetics through ‘sub-creation,’ and how mankind is set apart from the animals by our ability to create; the Creator has imaged Himself in us as ‘sub-creators,’ shown clearly by our culture, art and civilization. The transcendency of the human spirit is manifestly exemplified by our imaginations. You might find a parrot which can speak or an ape that can count; but you’ll never find them telling tall tales or drawing fanciful pictures.

Notably, J.R.R. Tolkien’s best friend C.S. Lewis (you may have heard of him) largely credited Chesterton’s writings with his conversion to Christianity–and again we can clearly see the influence in Lewis’ own works.


I read Orthodoxy, Heretics and now I am reading Saint Francis. I haven’t read Everlasting Man yet, but I recently bought it, so I will get to it soon. It would be hard to top Orthodoxy. I read that in one night! I could not put it down. It was so funny and just brilliant. I really loved Heretics as well. But Orthodoxy so far is by far my fave. Looooooooove it. :slight_smile:


Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy” and “The Everlasting Man” should be read and re-read by all Catholics.

I’m very fortunate in that Dale Ahlquist, the president of the American Chesterton Society, lives here in the Twin Cities and attends my parish. He heads the local chapter of the Chesterton Society, which meets monthly—fun and enlightening. I would suggest that folks go the society’s website (someone has already posted it) and check under “affiliates” or “local chapters” (sorry, I forget what it says exactly…) and see if you’ve got a chapter in your area. If not, form one!


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