July 2015

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Thomas Carlyle

‘The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none’ Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher. Considered one of the most important social commentators of his time, he presented many lectures during his lifetime with certain acclaim in the Victorian era. One of those conferences resulted in his famous work On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History where he explains that the key role in history lies in the actions of the “Great Man”, claiming that “History is nothing but the biography of the Great Man”. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Mark Twain 2

‘All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure’ Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885. Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Lincoln

‘Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing’ Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Harold Wilson

‘He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery’ Harold Wilson

James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, (11 March 1916 – 24 May 1995) was a British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976. He won four general elections. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Disraeli

‘Bore: one who has the power of speech but not the capacity for conversation’ Benjamin Disraeli

Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, (21 December 1804 – 19 April 1881) was a British Conservative politician and writer, who twice served as Prime Minister. He played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach. Disraeli is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism or “Tory democracy”. He is the only British Prime Minister of Jewish birth. (Source: Wikipedia)

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NPG x13208; Herbert George Wells by George Charles Beresford

‘Civilization is a race between education and catastrophe’ H. G. Wells

Herbert George Wells (1866 –1946) was a prolific English writer in many genres, including the novel, history, politics, and social commentary, and textbooks and rules for war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels, and Wells is called a father of science fiction. His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898). (Source: Wikipedia)

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Einstein

‘Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools’ Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist and philosopher of science. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). He is best known in popular culture for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”). He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Plato

‘One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors’ Plato

Plato (428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BCE) was a philosopher, as well as mathematician, in Classical Greece. He is considered an essential figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition, and he founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his teacher Socrates and his most famous student, Aristotle, Plato laid the foundations of Western philosophy and science. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Marcus Tullius Cicero

‘A room without books is like a body without a soul’ Cicero

Marcus Tullius Cicero (3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC), was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Nelson Mandela

‘There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered’ Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa’s first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Andy Warhol

‘They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself’ Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol (1928 –1987) was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist. (Source: Wikipedia)

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FDR

‘Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds’ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States. A Democrat, he won a record four elections and served from March 1933 to his death in April 1945. He was a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic depression and war. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Samuel Butler

‘Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.’ Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler (4 December 1835 – 18 June 1902) was an iconoclastic Victorian-era English author who published a variety of works. Two of his most famous pieces are the Utopian satire Erewhon and a semi-autobiographical novel published posthumously, The Way of All Flesh. He is also known for examining Christian orthodoxy, substantive studies of evolutionary thought, studies of Italian art, and works of literary history and criticism. Butler made prose translations of the Iliad and Odyssey, which remain in use to this day.(Source: Wikipedia)

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Samuel Johnson

‘Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.’ Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 – 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history”. He is also the subject of “the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature”: James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson.

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Oscar Wilde

‘My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.’ Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, his plays, and the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death. At the height of his fame and success, while his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), was still on stage in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for libel. The Marquess was the father of Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The charge carried a penalty of up to two years in prison. The trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with other men. After two more trials he was convicted and imprisoned for two years’ hard labour. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Benjamin Franklin

‘At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty the wit; at forty the judgement.’ Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin FRS (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and in many ways was “the First American”. A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He facilitated many civic organizations, including Philadelphia’s fire department and a university.

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Socrates

‘Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.’ Socrates

Socrates (470/469 – 399 BC) was a classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes. Plato’s dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity, though it is unclear the degree to which Socrates himself is “hidden behind his ‘best disciple’, Plato”. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Marcus Tullius Cicero

 ‘Friendship makes prosperity more shining and lessens adversity by dividing and sharing it.’ Cicero

Marcus Tullius Cicero (3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC), was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Mark Twain 2

‘Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.’ Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885. Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. (Source: Wikipedia)

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‘I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may – light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful.’ John Constable (1776 – 1837)

John Constable, RA (11 June 1776 – 31 March 1837) was an English Romantic painter. Born in Suffolk, he is known principally for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home—now known as “Constable Country”—which he invested with an intensity of affection. “I should paint my own places best”, he wrote to his friend John Fisher in 1821, “painting is but another word for feeling”. His most famous paintings include Wivenhoe Park of 1816, Dedham Vale of 1802 and The Hay Wain of 1821. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Winston Churchill

‘This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.’ Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician who was Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Tom Stoppard

‘I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity’ Tom Stoppard

Sir Tom Stoppard OM CBE FRSL (born Tomáš Straussler; 3 July 1937) is a British playwright, knighted in 1997. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, The Real Thing, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Born in Czechoslovakia, Stoppard left as a child refugee, fleeing imminent Nazi occupation. He settled with his family in Britain after the war, in 1946. After being educated at schools in Nottingham and Yorkshire, Stoppard became a journalist, a drama critic and then, in 1960, a playwright. (Source: Wikipedia)

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FDR

‘Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money. It lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort’ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States. A Democrat, he won a record four elections and served from March 1933 to his death in April 1945. He was a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic depression and war. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Henry Miller

‘Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.’ Henry Miller

Henry Valentine Miller (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980) was an American writer. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms, developing a new sort of semi-autobiographical novel that blended character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, explicit language, sex, surrealist free association and mysticism. His most characteristic works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer (1934), Black Spring (1936), Tropic of Capricorn (1939) and The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy (1949–59), all of which are based on his experiences in New York and Paris, and all of which were banned in the United States until 1961. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Gilbert Chesterton

‘I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite’ G. K. Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) better known as G. K. Chesterton, was an English writer, lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist. Chesterton is often referred to as the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” (Source: Wikipedia)

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Mark Twain 2

‘A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain’ Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885. Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Didion

‘To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, singular power of self-respect’ Joan Didion

Joan Didion (born December 5, 1934) is an American author best known for her novels and her literary journalism. Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation. A sense of anxiety or dread permeates much of her work. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Victor Hugo

‘Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause’ Victor Hugo

Victor Marie Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best known French writers. In France, Hugo’s literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the acclaimed novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). He also produced more than 4,000 drawings, which have since been admired for their beauty, and earned widespread respect as a campaigner for social causes such as the abolition of the death penalty. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Oscar Wilde

‘To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable’ Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, his plays, and the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death. At the height of his fame and success, while his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), was still on stage in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for libel. The Marquess was the father of Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The charge carried a penalty of up to two years in prison. The trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with other men. After two more trials he was convicted and imprisoned for two years’ hard labour. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Mark Twain 2

‘The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity’ Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885. Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Martin Luther King

‘The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education’ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include poverty and speak against the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”. In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Source: Wikipedia)

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