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Gwen Raverat

  • ... the chief thing I learnt at school was how to tell lies.

  • This is a circular book. It does not begin at the beginning and go on to the end; it is all going on at the same time, sticking out like the spokes of a wheel from the hub, which is me. So it does not matter which chapter is read first or last.

  • ... you may take it from me, that however hard you try — or don't try; whatever you do — or don't do; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; every way and every day: the parent is always wrong. So it is no good bothering about it. When the little pests grow up they will certainly tell you exactly what you did wrong in their case. But never mind; they will be just as wrong themselves in their turn.

  • Ladies were ladies in those days; they did not do things themselves, they told other people what to do and how to do it.

  • I have defined Ladies as people who did not do things themselves.

  • You can have no idea, if you have not tried, how difficult it is to find out anything whatever from an encyclopedia, unless you know all about it already ...

  • ... the truth just gradually dripped through, like coffee through a percolator.

  • ... in my grandparents' house it was a distinction and a mournful pleasure to be ill. This was partly because my grandfather was always ill, and his children adored him and were inclined to imitate him; and partly because it was so delightful to be pitied and nursed by my grandmother.

  • The first religious experience that I can remember is getting under the nursery table to pray that the dancing mistress might be dead before we got to the Dancing Class.

  • I often dreamt I was a horse, and I know exactly what it feels like to be one. I even know what it feels like to be able to twitch the skin on my shoulder and shudder away a fly.

Gwen Raverat, English wood-engraver, illustrator, writer

(1885 - 1957)

Full name: Gwendolyn Mary Darwin Raverat. Charles Darwin was her grandfather.