Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Chesterton Quiz

Here is a Chesterton quiz from the first meeting of the Irish Chesterton Society. I thought readers of the blog might like having a go at it. Thirty-one questions, some easy, some fiendishly difficult, most in between. Answers to be posted tomorrow.

1. What does the GK in GK Chesterton stand for?
2. What was the name of Chesterton’s wife?
3. How many children did Chesterton have?
4. Complete the title: The Napoleon of ----- -----“
5. Which famous English novelist, who died in 1995, described Chesterton’s novel The Man Who Was Thursday as “the most thrilling book I have ever read?”
6. What was the name of Chesterton’s brother?
7. Which British heavy metal band quote an entire verse of Chesterton’s poetry in their song Revelations?
8. Which English writer was often paired with Chesterton, so much so that George Bernard Shaw named them the Chesterbelloc?
9. What economic system did Chesterton espouse?
10. At what art school did Chesterton study?
11. Was Chesterton born in 1874, 1884 or 1894?
12. What drink did Chesterton call “a cad and beast”?
13. In a famous telegram to his wife, Chesterton began: “Am in Market Harborough”. How did he finish?
14. Complete the title: “What’s Wrong With --- ---“
15. Chesteton wrote one of his most famous books, The Everlasting Man, in response to a book titled An Outline of History. Who was the author of that book?
16. One of his Chesterton’s closest friends, Edmund Clerihew Bentley, is famous for writing a celebrated detective novel. The first word of the title is “Trent’s”. Can you give me the rest of the title?
17. Did Chesterton die at the age of 62, 72 or 82?
18. Which Chesterton novel features the character Innocent Smith?
19. Sir Herbert James Gunn painted a portrait called Conversation Piece, depicting Chesterton, Belloc and another writer who was associated with both. Who was the third man in the picture?
20. What relation was Dorothy Collins to Chesterton?
21. From which author is this quotation taken: “Then I read Chesterton's Everlasting Man and for the first time saw the whole Christian outline of history set out in a form that seemed to me to make sense.”
22. For which English political party did Chesterton canvas in the general elections of 1902 and 1906?
23. In the Father Brown story The Invisible Man, what is it about the invisible man of the title that makes him virtually invisible?
24. Chesterton once said, “The business of the Progressive is to go on making mistakes.” What did he say the business of the Conservative was?
25. One of Chesterton’s books has the subtitle, The Dumb Ox. Who is the subject of the book?
26. What feature is famously all but absent from Chesterton’s book, A Short History of England?
27. Which English historical figure was the central character in Chesterton’s long poem, The Ballad of the White Horse?
28. What famous Chesterton poem do these lines come from? “It is he that saith not Kismeth; it is he that knows not Fate; it is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey in the gate.”
29. Chesterton said he had only discovered one sure way of catching a train. What was it?
30. Complete the Chesterton quotation: “If a thing is worth doing, it’s—“
31. Chesterton once wrote a letter to his mother while she was in the same room as him. What important news did he write it to tell her?

Good luck!


  1. Hmm, that's quite tough. Will be interested to check the one's I'm unsure of, and find out the ones I don't know!

    1 Gilbert Keith
    2 Frances Blogg
    3 none
    4 Notting Hill
    5 Graham Greene (?)
    6 (pass)
    7 Iron Maiden (?)
    8 Hilaire Belloc
    9 distributism
    10 The Slade, London
    11 1874 (?)
    12 (pass)
    13 "Where should I be?"
    14 "The World"
    15 HG Wells (?)
    16 (pass)
    17 62
    18 Manalive
    19 Tolkien
    20 cousin (?)
    21 CS Lewis (?)
    22 Liberal Party
    23 (pass)
    24 "to prevent the mistakes from being put right" (or something similar)
    25 St Thomas Aquinas
    26 (pass)
    27 King Alfred
    28 (pass)
    29 (pass)
    30 "worth doing badly"
    31 (pass)

  2. Pretty good going, Dominic! Putting up the answers now! They were quite tough, to be fair.