Review: The Collected Works of GKChesterton, Vol. 3

GKChesterton’s defence of Catholicism and Her Church

This review took me a long time to write (as it took me a long to read Chesterton’s book) but not because I couldn’t find anything to say. In fact, I have too much to say about this amazing collection of some of GKC’s best essays on the Catholic faith, conversion, and apologetics.  This is the type of book you don’t read cover-to-cover (although I did for this review).  Instead, this book is one that you pick up and read an essay … mull over the thoughts developed … and re-read the essay … and repeat.  GKC’s writings are always provocative in the true sense of the word — his writing gets the reader thinking, mulling, meditating each paragraph … each image … each quotable quote.

This particular volume (third in a series of collected works of this prolific writer) focuses on GKC’s essays and writings specific to his conversion, specific to how he sees the Catholic Church and all her wonders and glories, specific to how he defended his faith in the early 20th century (a time when many were too "enlightened" to believe anything but themselves).  This collection includes the books:

  • The Catholic Church and Conversion
  • The Thing: Why I am a Catholic
  • The Well and the Shallows
  • The Way of the Cross

and individual essays such as Where All Roads Lead and Why I am a Catholic (which developed into the book-length, The Thing).  All of these works were published in the 1920-early 30s and serve as apologetics for his time.  However, the timelessness of GKC’s thoughts serve to make this volume a classic, an apologetics text for today’s very secular, "enlightened" world, including the warning to all Catholics in The Catholic Church and Conversion

  There is many a convert who has reached a stage at which no word from any Protestant or pagan could any longer hold him back.  Only the word of a Catholic can keep him from Catholicism.


Chesterton’s essays run the gamut from the deep, theological to the almost tongue-in-cheek writing for which he is justifiably famous.  Yet, each essay will draw you closer to your faith, to the Catholic faith.  Why?  Because each of GKC’s writings is written from his heart … his thoughts … his experiences.  And the reader can’t help but nod her head to similar thoughts of her own. >

This is definitely a keeper … a volume I will keep next to my bed for times when I need a kick-start in the morning or a meditation before bedtime.  This is a classic for all times that I highly recommend.

I wrote this review of G.K. Chesterton Collected Works, Volume 3 for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Aquinas and More is the largest on-line Catholic bookstore.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: