Read Along,  Show Notes

Episode 185: “The Man Who Was Thursday” by G. K. Chesterton, Intro and Ch. 1-4

Welcome back to the Literary Life podcast this week and our new series on G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. Angelina, Cindy, and Thomas open with their commonplace quotes, as usual, then proceed to setting up the background for this book and the man Chesterton himself. Thomas also shares Chesterton’s poem to E. C. Bentley that opens this book and gives a brief explication of the poem. Following this, our hosts recap each chapter in the first section. Angelina makes several connections to Paradise Lost in this section, as well as pointing out the romantic and chivalric quest elements in the story. Cindy highlights the fact that we also have the fair maiden character here. Join us again next week when we will cover chapters 5-10 as events become even more strange.

If you missed our 2023 Back to School Conference when it was live, you can still go back and view the recordings when you purchase access to the conference at

Angelina is teaching a class on How to Read Beowulf at the end of August 2023. Get in on this mini-class at House of Humane Letters.

Thomas is also teaching a webinar along with Michael Williams on the modern poets W. H. Auden and T. S. Eliot on September 28th. You can now register at House of Humane Letters.

Listen Now:

Commonplace Quotes:

Had her mother been somebody else’s mother she would perhaps have admired her unreservedly.

L. P. Hartley, A Perfect Woman

When a child is reading, he should not be teased with questions as to the meaning of what he has read, the signification of this word or that; what is annoying to older people is equally annoying to children.

Charlotte Mason

And there is…Mooreeffoc, or Chestertonian Fantasy. Mooreeffoc is a fantastic word, but it could be seen written up in every town in this land. It is Coffeeroom, view from the inside through a glass door, as it was seen by Dickens on a dark London day; and it was used by Chesterton to denote the queerness of things that have become trite, when they are seen suddenly from a new angle.

J. R. R. Tolkien, “On Fairy Stories


by Walter de la Mare

Knight of the Holy Ghost, he goes his way,

Wisdom his motley, Truth his loving jest;

The mills of Satan keep his lance in play,

Pity and innocence his heart at rest.

Books Mentioned:

The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

John Le Carre

Graham Greene

Oscar Wilde

Franz Kafka

John Buchan

Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde

Trent’s Last Case by E. C. Bentley

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