When the Revolution Comes

A humorous, sketchy guide from G.K. Chesterton


Did you know that G. K. Chesterton was not only an essayist, novelist, raconteur, and possibly a saint, but also a cartoonist as well?

In 1911, as he was publishing his Father Brown stories and just before his intermittent debating opponent George Bernard Shaw would write Pygmalion, the London magazine The Sketch published a series of Chesterton’s cartoons, all on the theme of “When the Revolution Comes.” Here’s a selection of three of them, illustrating his humor, as well as his unerring ability to find the absurd nub of the radical Progressivist cause.



Chesterton’s friend and fellow writer, Hilaire Belloc, of course, often confronted Leftists with what would, in our day, come to be known as “hatefacts.”


Chesterton here is making fun of his own avoirdupois. However, under nationalized medicine, unhealthy activity, like smoking cigars or carrying excess weight, is positively anti-social and counter-revolutionary.


Shaw, Chesterton’s antagonist, the great socialist Progessive, is here hoist on his own petard, as one who refuses to stoop to the ritual of solidarity with the People.

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About John B. Buescher 14 Articles
John B. Buescher received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. From 1991 to 2007 he was the head of the Voice of America's Tibetan Broadcast Service. His books include The Other Side of Salvation: Spiritualism in the Nineteenth-Century Religious Experience (Skinner House Books, 2004) and The Remarkable Life of John Murray Spear: Agitator for the Spirit Land (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006).