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.