famous quotes

Welcome to the web´s most comprehensive site of quotations by women. Over 40,000 quotations are searchable by topic, by author's name, or by keyword. Many of them appear in no other collection. And new ones are added continually.

See all TOPICS available:

See all AUTHORS available:

Search by topic:

Find quotations by TOPIC (coffee, love, dogs)
or search alphabetically below.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Search by last name:

Search by keyword:

Winifred Holtby

"We shall weave traceries as fine as lace / Of the minute events of time in space, / And hear through silence, with enchanted ears, / The silver music of the turning spheres."

Winifred Holtby, "Art and Science," in The Observer (1930)

New Quoatation

"Never de-louse, nor pursue any other type of personal small-game hunting in public, either upon one's own person or another's."

Winifred Holtby, Mandoa, Mandoa! (1933)

New Quoatation

"We each live in a private, distorted, individual world -- stars turning in space, warmed for a moment by each other's light, then lost in infinite distance."

Winifred Holtby, Mandoa, Mandoa! (1933)

New Quoatation

"A sense of humor is so handy, isn't it? It lets you see both sides of a question so that you never need do anything."

Winifred Holtby, Mandoa, Mandoa! (1933)

New Quoatation

"At eighteen months old, no child is a civilized companion. Maurice was messy. ... He needed constant attention, entertainment and supervision, and neither his looks, his manners, nor his monosyllabic conversation really compensated his mother for her sacrifice of those activities to which she had been accustomed and which she heartily enjoyed."

Winifred Holtby, Mandoa, Mandoa! (1933)

New Quoatation

"[On golf:] One of the most distressing defects of civilization."

Winifred Holtby, Mandoa, Mandoa! (1933)

New Quoatation

"New battleships are readily ordered, when clinics, school meals, and ante-natal provision are counted as 'extravagance.'"

Winifred Holtby, Women and a Changing Civilization (1934)

New Quoatation

"And now the Nurse knew why she disliked church services, for as she raised her head, she observed that the Curate, and the Rector and the Archbishop were all men. The vergers were men; the organist was a man; the choir boys, the sidesmen and soloist and church wardens, all were men. The architects who had built the church, the composers of the music, the translators of the psalms, the compilers of the liturgy, all these too, the Nurse pondered, had been men."

Winifred Holtby, "Nurse to the Archbishop" (1931), Truth Is Not Sober (1934)

New Quoatation

"Surely, if life is good, it is good throughout its substance; we cannot separate men's activities from women's and say, these are worthy of praise and these unworthy ... "

Winifred Holtby, "Nurse to the Archbishop" (1931), Truth Is Not Sober (1934)

New Quoatation

"... it is the brevity of life which makes it tolerable; its experiences have value because they have an end."

Winifred Holtby, "Sentence of Life," Truth Is Not Sober (1934)

New Quoatation

"It's the things you don't do, not the things you do, you feel most sorry for."

Winifred Holtby, "So Handy for the Fun Fair" (1931), Truth Is Not Sober (1934)

New Quoatation

" Progress. There's a good deal too much o' this progress about nowadays, an', what's more, it'll have to stop."

Winifred Holtby, "The Apostate" (1925), Truth Is Not Sober (1934)

New Quoatation

"All evening he had been drinking quietly, until now he had reached that condition of felicity when all solids appear transparent and all sounds approximate to sweet music."

Winifred Holtby, "Lovers' Meeting" (1925), Truth Is Not Sober (1934)

New Quoatation

"Farming isn't what it was, and when I come to think on, it never has been."

Winifred Holtby, "Mr. Harper Larns 'Em" (1928), Truth Is Not Sober (1934)

New Quoatation

"Oh, time betrays us. Time is the great enemy ... "

Winifred Holtby, South Riding (1936)

New Quoatation

"Sixty if she's a day. Calls herself forty-seven, of course. They're all forty-seven when they get past fifty. "

Winifred Holtby, South Riding (1936)

New Quoatation

"Love needs the stiffening of respect, the give and take of equality."

Winifred Holtby, South Riding (1936)

New Quoatation

"But hers was the pleasant fatigue that comes of work well done. When at night in bed she went over the events of the day, it was with a modest yet certain satisfaction at this misunderstanding disentangled, that problem solved, some other help given in time of need. Her good deeds smoothed her pillow."

Winifred Holtby, South Riding (1936)

New Quoatation

"I like a bit of color myself, I must say. At my time of life, if you wear nothing but black, people might think you were too mean to change frocks between funerals."

Winifred Holtby, South Riding (1936)

New Quoatation

"Some people, she would say, are so full of the milk of human kindness that it slops over and messes everything."

Winifred Holtby, South Riding (1936)

New Quoatation

"Question everyone in authority, and see that you get sensible answers to your questions ... questioning does not mean the end of loving, and loving does not mean the abnegation of intelligence. Vow as much love to your country as you like ... but, I implore you, do not forget to question."

Winifred Holtby, South Riding (1936)

New Quoatation

"Is this the final treachery of time, that the old become a burden upon the young?"

Winifred Holtby, South Riding (1936)

New Quoatation

"... the conductor obeyed all too literally the proverbial mandate. His right hand rarely knew what his left hand did ... "

Winifred Holtby, South Riding (1936)

New Quoatation

"I can't think why I was cursed with this inordinate desire to write, if the high gods weren't going to give me some more adquate means of expressing myself than that which my present pedestrian prose affords."

Winifred Holtby, 1921, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"... the damned book I am writing is like the driveling of a weak-kneed sea calf. If I were sufficiently strong minded, I should tear it up an start again. But I don't."

Winifred Holtby, 1923, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"If we haven't a grouch against Fortune, we seem unable to avoid one against ourselves."

Winifred Holtby, 1923, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"All adventuring is rash, and all innovations dangerous. But not nearly so dangerous as stagnation and dry rot. From grooves, cliques, clichés and resignation -- Good Lord deliver us!"

Winifred Holtby, 1923, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"If you are rich, you have lovely cars, and jars full of flowers, and books in rows, and a wireless, and the best sort of gramophone and meringues for supper."

Winifred Holtby, 1923, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"... why, why, when one writes, does a sort of shackle bind one's imagination? I become conscious of a deadening mediocrity, perhaps a form of mental cowardice, and I long to break free, to let my imagination take wings. It doesn't -- yet ... "

Winifred Holtby, 1924, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"... I would, if I could, always feed to music. The singularly graceless action of thus filling one's body with roots and dead animals and powdered grain is given some significance then. One can perform as a ritual what one is shamed to do as a utilitarian action ... "

Winifred Holtby, 1924, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"Really, trees are nearly as important as men, and much better behaved."

Winifred Holtby, 1924, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"Most gay, conversational, careless, lovely city ... where one drinks golden Tokay until one feels most beautiful, and warm and loved -- oh, Budapesth!"

Winifred Holtby, 1924, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"Teachers have power. We may cripple them by petty economics; by Government regulations, by the foolish criticism of an uninformed press; but their power exists for good or evil ... "

Winifred Holtby, 1926, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"The only difficulty is to know what bits to choose and what to leave out. Novel-writing is not creation, it is selection."

Winifred Holtby, 1926, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"I am much perturbed by this business of sickness. Our bodies seem so easily to leap into the saddle where our minds should be. People who are ill become changelings."

Winifred Holtby, 1926, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"... it is better to take experience, to suffer, to love, and to remember than to walk unscathed between the fires. I've had most immunities myself -- the result of an independent income combined with a personality completely devoid of sexual attractions -- the two fires of poverty and passion have therefore never burned me, and I am a lesser person for my safety."

Winifred Holtby, 1926, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"... the things that one most wants to do are the things that are probably most worth doing."

Winifred Holtby, 1927, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend (1937)

New Quoatation

"Progress? It ought to be stopped, that's what I say. If the Lord meant chickens to come out of incubators he'd never have made hens, it stands to reason."

Winifred Holtby, "The Ruin of Mr. Hilary" (1929), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"... ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is impotence; it is fear; it is cruelty; it is all the things that make for unhappiness."

Winifred Holtby, "The Right Side of Thirty" (1930), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"Youth knows no remedy for grief but death."

Winifred Holtby, "The Right Side of Thirty" (1930), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"I advise nobody to drown sorrow in cocoa. It is bad for the figure and it does not alleviate the sorrow."

Winifred Holtby, "The Right Side of Thirty" (1930), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"The greatest mercy, I have often thought, of the Mediterranean coast lies in its mosquitoes. Did we not suffer from their unwelcome attention, we could not bear our holidays to end."

Winifred Holtby, "The Right Side of Thirty" (1930), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"... public work brings a vicarious but assured sense of immortality. We may be poor, weak, timid, in debt to our landlady, bullied by our nieces, stiff in the joints, shortsighted and distressed; we shall perish, but the cause endures; the cause is great."

Winifred Holtby, "The Right Side of Thirty" (1930), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"... the ruder lecturers are, and the louder their voices, the more converts they make to their opinions."

Winifred Holtby, "The Murder of Madame Mollard" (1930), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"... no truth is strong enough to defeat a well-established legend."

Winifred Holtby, "The Murder of Madame Mollard" (1930), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"Remorse ... is one of the many afflictions for which time finds a cure."

Winifred Holtby, "The Murder of Madame Mollard" (1930), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"He had cursed the Nordic superiority complex which could feel pity for the victims only of other types of culture, but none for the victims of its own."

Winifred Holtby, "Episode in West Kensington" (1932), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"She was suffering acutely, for it was her instinct to give people what they wanted, and there was nothing that she could do for Evelyn."

Winifred Holtby, "Episode in West Kensington" (1932), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"Sorrow and frustration have their power. The world is moved by people with great discontents. Happiness is a drug. It can make men blind and deaf and insensible to reality. There are times when only sorrow can give to sorrow."

Winifred Holtby, "Episode in West Kensington" (1932), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

"... we are so little, so ignorant, so feeble an infant race crawling on a planet between immensities we haven't even begun to understand, that really we have no grounds for either congratulation or despair."

Winifred Holtby, "Episode in West Kensington" (1932), Pavements at Anderby (1937)

New Quoatation

" I am fierce for work. Without work I am nothing. "

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"... what a strange distance there is between ill people and well ones."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"Everybody's tragedy is somebody's nuisance."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"... why haven't we seventy lives? One is no use."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

" The crown of life is neither happiness nor annihilation; it is understanding. "

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"I find you in all small and lovely things; in the little fishes like flames in the green water, in the furred and stupid softness of bumble-bees fat as laughter, in all the chiming radiance of warmth and light and scent in the summer garden."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"What with the reviews of critics, the sarcasms of one's friends, the reproaches of one's own taste, there's precious little peace after publishing a book ..."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"Those who prepare for war get it."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"There's never been a lack of men willing to die bravely. The trouble is to find a few able to live sensibly."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"Nature is not silent, and never was a name more derisively inappropriate than when we speak of these non-human creatures who hoot and crow and bray as the dumb animals."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"When a person that one loves is in the world and alive and well, and pleased to be in the world, then to miss them is only a new flavor, a salt sharpness in experience. It is when the beloved is unhappy or maimed or troubled that one misses with pain."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"You are quite, quite wrong if you think that ... I find your happiness painful. What matters is that happiness -- the golden day -- should exist in the world, not much to whom it comes. For all of us it is so transitory a thing, how could one not draw joy from its arrival?"

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"The more I see of dogs, the more I like children."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"Babies are a nuisance, of course. But so does everything seem to be that is worth while -- husbands and books and committees and being loved and everything. We have to choose between barren ease and rich unrest ... "

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"But to write -- that is grief and labor; and to read what one has written -- how unlike the story as one saw it; how dull, how spirtless -- that is enough to send one weeping to bed."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"This alone is to be feared -- the closed mind, the sleeping imagination, the death of the spirit. The death of the body is to that, I think, a little thing."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"Life flows on over death as water closes over a stone dropped into a pool. ... Fate is certain; death is certain; but the courage and nobility of men and women matter more than these."

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"Oh, time is death, / Come, cypress-candled death, / Take us before time kills our life ... "

Winifred Holtby, in Vera Brittain, Testament of Friendship (1940)

New Quoatation

"The world, with all its beauty and adventure, its richness and variety, is darkened by cruelty. Death, if it ends the loveliness, the adventure, ends also that. Death balances the picture."

Winifred Holtby, Virginia Woolf: A Critical Memoir (1978)

New Quoatation

"God give me work / Till my life shall end / And life / Till my work is done."

Winifred Holtby, epitaph she chose, which appears on her gravestone (1935)

New Quoatation

Winifred Holtby, English writer, poet, journalist, pacifist
(1898 - 1935)

I always feel sad when I read her quotation on the betrayal of time, knowing she died so young.