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Elspeth Huxley

  • ... English tradition debars from dinner-table conversation almost all topics that might interest the conversers and insists upon strict adherence to banalities.

  • [... vastly different peoples live and work side by side but rarely come together, like the arms of an egg beater that] whirled independently and never touched, so that perhaps one arm never knew the other was there; yet they were together, turned by the same handle, and the cake was mixed by both.

  • They [zebras] looked like highly varnished animated toys.

  • I had never before seen heat, as you can see smoke or rain. But there it was, jigging and quavering above brown grasses and spiky thorn-trees and flaring erythrinas.

  • Hyenas were said to be cowards, but in their midnight howlings there was something intimate, knowing and sly, as if they were saying: it will be your turn one day ...

  • ... it is a cruel country that will take the heart out of your breast and grind it into powder, powdered stone. And no one will mind, that is the worst of it. No one will mind.

  • Only man is not content to leave things as they are but must always be changing them, and when he has done so, is seldom satisfied with the result.

  • When Harold, and many others like him, obeyed an irresistible urge to move on to new and wilder places, they carried with them the seeds of the very things from which they were trying to escape. ... So the shunners became the spreaders, and people like Harold were hard at work destroying their own salvation.

    • Elspeth Huxley
  • The Beatties were always arguing, it gave them an interest in life ...

  • With the children she was strict and with the adults chatty, contributing her remarks to the conversation as if they had been large, heavy stones.

  • To deceive gracefully is the very essence of social life. One must start by deceiving oneself, and make a lifelong practice of deceiving others; if one does it well enough, in time one might even become an artist, the greatest illusionists of all.

  • The great point about money was to convert it as quickly as possible into something you could use or enjoy.

  • Dogs may be divided into two classes: those who are merely afraid of cattle and those who can't abide them.

Elspeth Huxley, English writer

(1907 - 1997)

Full name: Elspeth Joscelin Grant Huxley.