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G. K. Chesterton, the conservative English author of numerous works of both fiction and non-fiction, was very popular in his time and moved in the most august literary circles. Once at a gathering of literary figures someone asked what book those assembled would most like to have with them if stranded on a desert island.

One answered the Bible, another the works of Shakespeare, but Chesterton, when pressed for his opinion, replied,

"Thomas' Guide to Practical Shipbuilding."