April Chestertoniana

WWWtWWhen: Thursday, April 9th

Where: Smith’s of Cohoes*

What: What’s Wrong With The World (Part I, essays 1, 2, & 3)

Who:  Chestertonians new & old (but never indifferent)

Why:  Because ideas matter, so we discuss them among friends

Next up:  In May, we will return to 1st Thursday to discuss essays 4-6


*If you haven’t finished the reading, come anyway! If you’re busy, take a few hours off to decompress with us.  If you’re shy, bring a friend (or simply be at ease listening – we have no shortage of talkers)!  If you’re bold, bring a progressive!  If you’re a parent of well-mannered children – bring them!  If you’re poor, bring a snack! (seriously, do not feel compelled to order dinner, but be assured there are some less expensive items on the menu).  But if you’re hungry, bring your appetite. 


plntgnetFebruary Gathering of the Albany Chesterton Society:

We will return to Smith’s of Cohoes on February 5th, at 7 o’clock in the evening, for a rollicking discussion of Chapters 7-12 of A Short History of England.

Deep thanks, once more, go to our dear friend Doreen and her family for hosting us on New Year’s Day. ‘Twas truly a delightful Elizabethan Tea and Lasagne, Kugel, and Chocolate Cake feast among kindred friends.

And what better (or more memorable) way to cap it off than a full-bodied chorus of God Bless America? We hope it’s the start of a new ACS tradition – if not every month, then at least every January 1st.  See you on the 5th.

Another Kindred Chestertonian Across the Sea

GK+Chesterton+Logo+4I love this emblem and banner* of the GK Chesterton Society of Ireland, a group that seems to have been started under similar auspices to our own, albeit a couple years prior, and with a far more impressive blog than our humble attempt here.  Mr. O’Ceallaigh is a prolific writer and a great ambassador to all things Chestertonian.

Here is an excellent lecture Mr. O’Ceallaigh delivered at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth in 2014, on the subject of Catholic Apologetics and Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation.

*Not only does his blog rally me to step up my game, but the Ireland group’s artwork has reminded me of an earlier daydream I’d entertained of commissioning our own heraldry (as befits any self-respecting Chesterton Society for necessary items such as flags and bumper stickers).


A New Year, A Short History

englandJoin us in January as we launch into a new book, A Short History of England, sure to delight the Anglophiles within our ranks, and perhaps even our resident Romanian too.  We plan to break the reading up over three months, six chapters at a time, so the busy holiday season ought not interfere terribly with your reading schedule.

Here is a taste of Dale Ahlquist’s lecture on A Short History

Most history books are written to correct other history books. mXE7fID1m2_Oh0KqaKuSOsgChesterton’s A Short History of England is no exception. In every other sense, however, it is exceptional to every other history book. Chesterton wanted to write a popular history, that is, “a history from the standpoint of a member of the public.” Most historical accounts of England, he said, were extremely “anti-popular,” that is, they ignored all the large and obvious things, “like the size of Gothic churches” and the fact that the squires in large country houses are not called an abbots but their houses are called abbeys. The difference between a popular history and a scholarly history “is not about the facts but about the importance of the facts.” Chesterton maintained that legend is usually more important than history, because legend is what everyone in a village knows is important, whereas history is only what one person-usually a crank-thinks is important.

I’m told these guys have a full chapter’s coverage…


Looking Ahead…


We return in December to Smith’s of Cohoes for discussion of the final two chapters of The Club of Queer Trades.  In the meantime, avail yourself of the opportunity to order a copy of our January reading, A Short History of England (we may opt to divide the book over 2 months, TBA).

Most of Chesterton’s works are available for free in the public domain, at Project Gutenberg and elsewhere.  For those who prefer to add to their personal libraries and to read the old-fashioned way, we endorse supporting the store of the American Chesterton Society (where members get 20% off).