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Josephine Tey

"Weak people can be very stubborn."

Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles (1936)

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"After three days without one, the desire to read a newspaper vanished. And really, one was happier without."

Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles (1936)

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"The lawyer hummed and hawed, not because he had any real objections but because it is a lawyer's business to consider remote contingencies, and a straightforward agreement to anything would be wildly unprofessional."

Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles (1936)

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"... all his life Toselli's smile had been stretched across his rage, like a tight-rope spanning a chasm ... "

Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles (1936)

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"I expect this is what death is like when you meet it. Sort of wildly unfair but inevitable."

Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles (1936)

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"Fasting was good for the imagination but bad for logic."

Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles (1936)

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"Truth is often terribly thin, don't you think? "

Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles (1936)

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"His wife had once shown him a bit in the Mail that said whistling was the sign of an empty mind. But it hadn't cured him. "

Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles (1936)

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"Her talent lay exclusively in seeing that other people employed theirs."

Josephine Tey, Miss Pym Disposes (1947)

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"Lucy decided to forget her weight just this once and enjoy herself. This was a decision she made with deplorable frequency. "

Josephine Tey, Miss Pym Disposes (1947)

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"... she had been born without 'oil on her feathers'... "

Josephine Tey, Miss Pym Disposes (1947)

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"As a psychologist she began to suspect she was a very good teacher of French."

Josephine Tey, Miss Pym Disposes (1947)

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"...the builder had lacked an architect's eye. He had used the idiom of the time, but it had apparently not been native to him."

Josephine Tey, The Franchise Affair (1948)

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"When a man had been a counsel in the criminal courts as long as Kevin had, his mind had only points of view, not convictions any more."

Josephine Tey, The Franchise Affair (1948)

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"Lack of education is an extraordinary handicap when one is being offensive."

Josephine Tey, The Franchise Affair (1948)

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"You can't have a tin can tied to your tail and go through life pretending it isn't there. "

Josephine Tey, The Franchise Affair (1948)

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"Horse sense is the instinct that keeps horses from betting on men. "

Josephine Tey, The Franchise Affair (1948)

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"Letterwriting is the natural outlet of the "odds." The busy-bodies, the idle, the perverted, the cranks, the feel-it-my-duties ... Also the plain depraved. They all write letters. It's their safe outlet, you see. They can be as interfering, as long-winded, as obscene, as pompous, as one-idea'd, as they like on paper, and no one can kick them for it. So they write. My God, how they write!"

Josephine Tey, The Franchise Affair (1948)

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"The worst of pushing horrible things down into one's subconscious is that when they pop up again they are as fresh as if they had been in a refrigerator. You haven't allowed time to get at them to--to mould them over a little."

Josephine Tey, Brat Farrar (1950)

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" Nothing in this world came out of satisfaction. Except the human race."

Josephine Tey, Brat Farrar (1950)

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"Riches ... don't consist in having things, but in not having to do something you don't want to do. ... Riches is being able to thumb your nose."

Josephine Tey, Brat Farrar (1950)

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"Charles loathed horses; which he held to be animals of an invincible stupidity, uncontrolled imagination, and faulty deduction."

Josephine Tey, Brat Farrar (1950)

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"It is not possible to love and be wise."

Josephine Tey, To Love and Be Wise (1950)

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"There's a strong aroma of sawn lady about this."

Josephine Tey, To Love and Be Wise (1950)

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" In hospitals there was no time off for good behavior."

Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (1851)

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"Nothing puts things in perspective as quickly as a mountain. "

Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (1851)

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"It was pleasant to talk shop again; to use that elliptical, allusive speech that one uses only with another of one's trade."

Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (1851)

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"The sorrows of humanity are no one's sorrows ... A thousand people drowned in floods in China are news: a solitary child drowned in a pond is tragedy."

Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (1851)

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"Something between a sport and a religion."

Josephine Tey, The Singing Sands (1952)

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"... 'grumbling' was a highly inadequate word to describe the blazing opposition that lighted Pat like a torch. He throbbed with it, like a car at rest with the engine running."

Josephine Tey, The Singing Sands (1952)

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"There were people whose only interest in life was writing letters. To the newspapers, to authors, to strangers, to City Councils, to the police. It did not much matter to whom; the satisfaction of writing seemed to be all."

Josephine Tey, The Singing Sands (1952)

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"That was the way with grief: it left you alone for months together until you thought that you were cured, and then without warning it blotted out the sunlight."

Josephine Tey, The Singing Sands (1952)

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"It is the utterly destructive quality. When you say vanity, you are thinking of the kind that admires itself in mirrors and buys things to deck itself out in. But that is merely personal conceit. Real vanity is something quite different. A matter not of person but of personality. Vanity says, "I must have this because I am me." It is a frightening thing because it is incurable. "

Josephine Tey, The Singing Sands (1952)

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Josephine Tey, Scottish playwright, writer
(1896 - 1952)

Josephine Tey was actually Elizabeth MacKintosh.  She also wrote under the pseudonym Gordon Daviot.