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The Ballad of the White Horse [Hardcover]

By G. K. Chesterton (Author) & Robert Austin (Author)
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Item description for The Ballad of the White Horse by G. K. Chesterton & Robert Austin...

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was an influential English writer of the early 20th century. His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy, and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the "prince of paradox. " He wrote in an off-hand, whimsical prose studded with startling formulations. He is one of the few Christian thinkers who are equally admired and quoted by both liberal and conservative Christians, and indeed by many non-Christians. And in his own words he cast aspersions on the labels saying, "The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. " Chesterton wrote many books among which are: All Things Considered (1908), Alarms and Discursions (1910), The Ballad of the White Horse (1911), The Appetite of Tyranny (1915), The Everlasting Man (1925), The Secret of Father Brown (1927) and The Scandal of Father Brown (1935).

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   231
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.56" Width: 5.61" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2001
Publisher   Ignatius Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0898708907  
ISBN13  9780898708905  
UPC  008987089070  

Availability  5 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 18, 2017 12:51.
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More About G. K. Chesterton & Robert Austin

G. K. Chesterton G.K. Chesteron was born in 1874. He attended the Slade School of Art, where he appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown, before turning his hand to journalism. A prolific writer throughout his life, his best-known books include The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), The Man Who Knew Too Much(1922), The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) and the Father Brown stories. Chesterton converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922 and died in 1938.

Michael D. Hurley is a Lecturer in English at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St Catharine's College. He has written widely on English literature from the nineteenth century to the present day, with an emphasis on poetry and poetics. His book on G. K. Chesterton was published in 2011.

G. K. Chesterton lived in London. G. K. Chesterton was born in 1874 and died in 1936.

G. K. Chesterton has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Classic Wisdom Collection
  2. Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton
  3. Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton
  4. Doubleday Image Book
  5. Image Classic
  6. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  7. Moody Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > British & Irish
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( C ) > Chesterton, G. K.
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

Reviews - What do customers think about The Ballad of the White Horse?

One of the greatest books I have ever read  Aug 21, 2007
Out of the thousand or so books I have read in my life, if I were to put the Bible aside (since the Bible speaks with a special authority to believers and cannot really be compared to other books), I have read no more than five or six books that I would call truly great. That means there are only five or six books I would rate at five stars. This is one. Yes, it is that good.

I have never read any author who could make the English language sing the way Chesterton does in this poem -- for over a hundred pages. In contrast to contemporary "poets" whose "poems" consist of a bunch of strange words scattered apparently at random on a page, whose meaning, if there is one, is far beyond obscurity, Chesterton had apparently unlimited ability to create rhyme and alliteration, and then he bound it all tightly in the sing-song ballad style that carries it all swiftly along. The words of this poem are glorious to hear, and really, this book should be read aloud, so that one might hear the music of the words.

And few have ever been able to match the way Chesterton paints pictures with words. I will quote one passage, and hope it is not to long, to illustrate this. The scene here is Alfred's army making one final charge against the Danish camp:

Then bursting all and blasting
Came Christendom like death,
Kicked of such catapults of will,
The staves shiver, the barrels spill,
The waggons waver and crash and kill
The waggoners beneath.

Barriers go backward, banners rend,
Great shields groan like a gong,
Horses like horns of nightmare
Neigh horribly and long.

Horses ramp and rock and boil
And break their golden reins,
And slide on carnage clamorously,
Down where the bitter blood doth lie,
Where Ogier went on foot to die
In the old way of the Danes.

It would be hard to imagine anyone anyone describing such a violent scene in so few words any better than Chesterton does in that passage. And this passage is but one of dozens of glorious word-pictures that Chesterton's poetry paints in this book.

Beyond its magnificent use of the English language, this book also contains much philosophical insight -- insight that, although first published in 1911, is directly and clearly applicable today. Chesterton expresses very clearly the way that Christianity has formed the heart of Western culture over the ages, and the way that Christian faith -- which seems all about self-denial and thus sadness -- leads to unconquerable joy.

The book, of course, is not perfect; no work of literature can be. There are places where it gets a bit too preachy for my taste. But the book's flaws are few and minor, while its good points are many and glorious.

How good is this book? I have read it at least 50 times in my life, and I still enjoy reading it. In my opinion it is one of the truly greatest works written in the English language. It is one of the few books I have read that truly deserves five stars.
Popular Fiction Writer Anne Perry recommends this ballad.  Apr 22, 2007
Anne Perry, the enormously popular writer of historical fiction, just recommended this ballad by G. K. Chesterton as one of five must read tales of historical fiction. (See the Wall Street Journal's online Opinion Page for April 21, 2007 in an article entitled "Past Tense.") Here's part of what she said:

"This is the story of the English King Alfred's desperate stand against invading Danes in 878. England is conquered, and Alfred is a fugitive when he sees a vision of the Virgin Mary that bids him call together the remnants of his people for a final battle. "The Ballad of the White Horse" is an epic poem of courage, passion and unsurpassable beauty."

If you'd like to read other tales and poems by Chesterton, you might want to get "The Ballad of the White Horse" as part of a collection of his poetry that I edited for not much more money. It's called G. K. Chesterton's Early Poetry and has "The Ballad of the White Horse," along with two other books of Chesterton poetry under one cover. That means you'll also get his best humorous poetry, "Greybeards at Play." No less a writer than George Orwell ranked Chesterton as one of the three best writers of funny poetry in twentieth century England. The poems are a riot of the ridiculous and are accompanied with equally funny sketches he did.

And although Anne Perry and I have the same last name, as far as I know we're not related. Her's is a pen name. Mine is a real name. I guess I'm not creative enough to invent a name for myself.

G. K. Chesterton's Early Poetry: Greybeards At Play, The Wild Knight And Other Poems, The Ballad Of The White Horse

An epic poem of phenomenal power  Jan 14, 2007
Mr. Chesterton has a masterful skill with the pen; _Orthodoxy_ and _The Napoleon of Notting Hill_ are wonderful books--but _The Ballad of the White Horse_ is heartbreaking in its power, beauty, and nobility. With a stunning use of alliteration, rhythm, and imagery, Mr. Chesterton teaches the reader about true hearts, true faith, and true sacrifice. I have bought a few copies of this book to give as gifts to friends, and I eagerly recommend it to anyone who will listen. This book is a must-have for any individual interested in expanding their knowledge of great poetry!
Simply amazing  Feb 19, 2006
I had read some of Chesterton's fictional books, most of which contain poems which he has written, and I very much enjoyed his poems, so I decided to get a book of his poetry. This too I really enjoyed, so I decided to get another book of his poetry, this time it was The Ballad of the White Horse, and this book simply blew away all of the rest of Chesterton's poems. In fact, it simply blows away most poems by anyone. I have read Dante's Divine Comedy, Milton' Paradise Lost, Eliot's Wasteland, Chaucer's Canturbury Tales, etc., but I can honestly say that I enjoyed this epic far more than any of them. I am not saying that it is a better written poem or that it should be ranked above these classics, but I am saying that it is much more exciting to read than the others. Somehow Chesterton makes his poem involving: you are drawn into it and cannot put the book down until you have finished the chapter. He wrote it in such a way that the verses beg to be read quickly, and as I read I found myself reading faster and faster, until I was stumbling over the words and had to slow down again. Chesterton, like no other poet whom I know of, paints a picture of glory, honor, bravery, and captures the true spirit of an idealized Medieval War. The poem resounds with the drums of doom, the cries of angels, the hordes of invading barbarians and great deeds of heroes of old. If I were to recommend owning one epic poem, this would be the one.

Overall grade: A+
The Ballad of the White Horse by G. K. Chesterton  Jul 3, 2005
A stirring epic poem with a message important for the future of western act on hope when there is no longer any hope... The outcome is always, finally, in God's Providence. "The Ballad of the White Horse" should have great appeal for young men who can dream impossibilities because they are firmly grounded in the eternal verities. The battles scenes will fire the blood!

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