June 2015

Mark Haysom is the author of the critically acclaimed ‘Love, Love Me Do’ and ‘Imagine’. Here he publishes his favourite quotes from great writers and great thinkers.

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George Sand‘It is a mistake to regard age as a downhill grade toward dissolution. The reverse is true. As one grows older, one climbs with surprising strides.’ George Sand

Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin (1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), best known by her pseudonym George Sand, was a French novelist and memoirist. She is equally well known for her much publicized romantic affairs with a number of artists, including the composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin and the writer Alfred de Musset. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Samuel Butler

‘Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on’ 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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Anatole France

‘Nine tenths of education is encouragement’ Anatole France

Anatole France (born François-Anatole Thibault, 16 April 1844 – 12 October 1924) was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie française, and won the 1921 Nobel Prize for Literature “in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament”. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Lincoln

‘Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm’ 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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Einstein

‘Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized’ 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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Marcus Aurelius

‘How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it’ Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius (26 April 121 – 17 March 180 AD) was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus’ death in 169. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers. His Meditations is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Nelson Mandela

‘We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right’ 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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NPG 655; Edmund Burke studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds

‘To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting’ Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke (12 January 1729[ – 9 July 1797) was an Irish statesman born in Dublin; author, orator, political theorist, and philosopher, who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Lao Tzu

‘When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you’ Lao Tzu

Laozi (also Lao-Tzu) was a philosopher and poet of ancient China. He is best known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, but he is also revered as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. Although a legendary figure, he is usually dated to around the 6th century BC and reckoned a contemporary of Confucius, but some historians contend that he actually lived during the Warring States period of the 5th or 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Laozi is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage. Throughout history, Laozi’s work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Samuel Johnson

‘Courage is the greatest of all virtues, because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others’ 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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Yeats

‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire’ William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as “inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.” (Source: Wikipedia)

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Oscar Wilde

‘It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.’ 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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Marcus Tullius Cicero

‘Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body’ Marcus Tullius 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

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’ 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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Voltaire

‘Common sense is not so common’ Voltaire

François-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Oscar Wilde

‘Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not’ 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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Confucious

‘Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it’ Confucius

Confucius (551–479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Ovid

‘Endure and persist; this pain will turn to good by and by’ Ovid

Publius Ovidius Naso (20 March 43 BC – AD 17/18), known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet, living during the reign of Augustus, and a contemporary of Virgil and Horace. He is best known for the Metamorphoses, a 15-book continuous mythological narrative. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Charles Dickens

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast’ Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens ( 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his lifetime, his works enjoyed unprecedented popularity, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity. His 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted, and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London. His 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris, is his best known work of historical fiction. Dickens’s creative genius has been praised by fellow writers—from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell and G. K. Chesterton—for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Martin Luther King

‘Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed’ 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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Jefferson

‘I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be’ Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). He was an ardent proponent of democracy and embraced the principles of republicanism and the rights of the individual with worldwide influence. (Source: Wikipedia)

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10. Emerson‘Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Thomas Paine

‘The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection’ Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (February 9, 1737 – June 8, 1809) was an English and American political activist, philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called “a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination”. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Lincoln

‘Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power’ 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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Lao Tzu

‘Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.’ Lao Tzu

Laozi (also Lao-Tzu) was a philosopher and poet of ancient China. He is best known as the reputed author of theTao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, but he is also revered as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. Although a legendary figure, he is usually dated to around the 6th century BC and reckoned a contemporary of Confucius, but some historians contend that he actually lived during the Warring States period of the 5th or 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Laozi is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage. Throughout history, Laozi’s work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Nelson Mandela

‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’ 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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Benjamin Franklin

‘Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame’ 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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George Orwell

‘Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’ George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), who used the pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. Commonly ranked as one of the most influential English writers of the 20th century, and as one of the most important chroniclers of English culture of his generation, Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945). His book Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, is widely acclaimed, as are his numerous essays on politics, literature, language, and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Plato

‘There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.’ 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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George Washington

‘If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.’ George Washington

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the first President of the United States (1789–97), the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the convention that drafted the United States Constitution, which replaced the Articles of Confederation and remains the supreme law of the land. (Source: Wikipedia)

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