British Lit Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to British Lit. Here they are! All 22 of them:

Some people just don’t find their Prince Charming straight away, they have to search for him.
Charlotte Fallowfield (Until We Collide)
I have no heart? Perhaps I have not; / But then you're mad to take offense / That I don't give you what I have not got; / Use your own common sense.
Christina Rossetti
I should add, however, that, particularly on the occasion of Samhain, bonfires were lit with the express intention of scaring away the demonic forces of winter, and we know that, at Bealltainn in Scotland, offerings of baked custard were made within the last hundred and seventy years to the eponymous spirits of wild animals which were particularly prone to prey upon the flocks - the eagle, the crow, and the fox, among others. Indeed, at these seasons all supernatural beings were held in peculiar dread. It seems by no means improbable that these circumstances reveal conditions arising out of a later solar pagan worship in respect of which the cult of fairy was relatively greatly more ancient, and perhaps held to be somewhat inimical.
Lewis Spence (British Fairy Origins)
You may scold your carpenter, when he has made a bad table, though you can't make a table yourself.' I say to you - 'Mr. Finch, you may point out a defect in a baby's petticoats, though you haven't got a baby yourself!' Doesn't that satisfy you? All right! Take another illustration. Look at your room here. I can see in the twinkling of an eye, that it's badly lit. You have only got one window - you ought to have two. Is it necessary to be a practical builder to discover that? Absurd! Are you satisfied now? No! Take another illustration. What's this printed paper, here, on the chimney-piece? Assessed Taxes. Ha! Assessed Taxes will do. You're not in the House of Commons; you're not a Chancellor of the Exchequer - but haven't you an opinion of your own about taxation, in spite of that? Must you and I be in Parliament before we can presume to see that the feeble old British Constitution is at its last gasp?
Wilkie Collins (Poor Miss Finch)
In the late afternoon the group assembled for cocktails. Without consorting about it they'd all dressed up, and the women's perfumes fought for supremacy in the living room. The sun set, candles were lit; Mme Reynard found an English dictionary among the cookbooks and proposed they play the game called Dictionary, whereby a player assigns an incorrect definition to an unknown word in hopes of fooling the other players. She claimed the secateur was the sabateur's assistant. Malcom that costalgia was a shared reminiscence, Susan that a remotion was a lateral promotion, Frances that polonaise was an outmoded British condiment fabricated from a horse's bone marrow, Madeline that a puncheon was a contentious luncheon, and Joan that a syrt was a Syrian breath mint. Julius, whose English was not fully matured, said that unbearing was the act of "removing a bear from a peopled premises.
Patrick deWitt (French Exit)
What beautiful hyacinths! I have just learnt to love a hyacinth. -- Catherine Morland
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
At this point I feel I would be remiss to not mention the prevalence of a specific kind of person who enters the field of book publishing. This is the English lit major who never should have left academia, a genius who has read all of V.S. Naipaul but can’t photocopy title pages right side up. This person is very thin, possibly vegan, probably Ivy League. He or she feels as if answering the phone in a chipper voice is a form of legalized prostitution. He or she has a single quirky fashion piece, usually red or black, and waxes poetic about typewriters and the British, having never truly known either. Regardless of sex, they all want to be David Foster Wallace when they grow up.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
I feel like I’m on holy ground here, do you?' she called to the crowd through her mic. 'Special spot, special spot,' somebody called back. They were not wrong: what happened here in a mountainous backwater of a colonial outpost had gathered enough momentum to shift the course of history. Shepherd told the story of the anonymous woman who was said to have started the first trash house fire on the night of December 27, 1831. 'Yes, it led to her death,' she said, 'but it gave birth to abolition within the British Empire. I’m going to rename her tonight. Guess what I’m going to name her? ‘Fire.’ Tonight we christen ‘Fire.’ This time we want to have the flames of passion in our hearts. As I look across the hills, I can almost see the fires lit in 1831. I believe the hills were joyful that night as they witnessed our ancestors stand against oppression and torture.' Her voice rose: 'Ancestors, we see you! We hear you every time we sing or dance. Everything we do, the roots are in what our ancestors did to survive.
Tom Zoellner (Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire)
Gower is the first English writer to use "history" as an English word. He regularly rhymes the term with "memory," for to his way of thinking history and memory are correlative. That is, without history, there can be no memory; and without memory, there can be no history. But the point of historical knowledge is not to enable people to live in the past, or even to understand the past in the way we would expect a modern historian to proceed; rather, it is to enable people to live more vitally in the present.
Russell A. Peck (Confessio Amantis: Volume 2)
per hour. Handbrake knew that he could keep up with the best of them. Ambassadors might look old-fashioned and slow, but the latest models had Japanese engines. But he soon learned to keep it under seventy. Time and again, as his competitors raced up behind him and made their impatience known by the use of their horns and flashing high beams, he grudgingly gave way, pulling into the slow lane among the trucks, tractors and bullock carts. Soon, the lush mustard and sugarcane fields of Haryana gave way to the scrub and desert of Rajasthan. Four hours later, they reached the rocky hills surrounding the Pink City, passing in the shadow of the Amber Fort with its soaring ramparts and towering gatehouse. The road led past the Jal Mahal palace, beached on a sandy lake bed, into Jaipur’s ancient quarter. It was almost noon and the bazaars along the city’s crenellated walls were stirring into life. Beneath faded, dusty awnings, cobblers crouched, sewing sequins and gold thread onto leather slippers with curled-up toes. Spice merchants sat surrounded by heaps of lal mirch, haldi and ground jeera, their colours as clean and sharp as new watercolor paints. Sweets sellers lit the gas under blackened woks of oil and prepared sticky jalebis. Lassi vendors chipped away at great blocks of ice delivered by camel cart. In front of a few of the shops, small boys, who by law should have been at school, swept the pavements, sprinkling them with water to keep down the dust. One dragged a doormat into the road where the wheels of passing vehicles ran over it, doing the job of carpet beaters. Handbrake honked his way through the light traffic as they neared the Ajmeri Gate, watching the faces that passed by his window: skinny bicycle rickshaw drivers, straining against the weight of fat aunties; wild-eyed Rajasthani men with long handlebar moustaches and sun-baked faces almost as bright as their turbans; sinewy peasant women wearing gold nose rings and red glass bangles on their arms; a couple of pink-faced goras straining under their backpacks; a naked sadhu, his body half covered in ash like a caveman. Handbrake turned into the old British Civil Lines, where the roads were wide and straight and the houses and gardens were set well apart. Ajay Kasliwal’s residence was number
Tarquin Hall (The Case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri, #1))
My mouth went dry as I tried to remember all of Poppie’s tips for kissing over the years. She told me no guy wanted a girl with a mouth as wide as a guppy, who sucked his tongue with the force of a Dyson vacuum cleaner first time, or licked him to death like an overeager puppy. She’d told me to just purse my lips and let him lead and take control. Don’t slobber, don’t slobber, don’t slobber, I chanted to myself as he got closer and closer
Charlotte Fallowfield (Until We Collide)
Can you describe for me the tastes that you experienced as you said those words?" "Certainly. Mashed peas, dried apples, wine gum, weak tea, butter unsalted, Walkers crisps..."Mr. Roland replied. What I was experiencing at that moment wasn't an out-of-body experience. It was an in-another-body experience. Everything but this man and me had faded into darkness. He and I were at the two ends of a brightly lit tunnel. We were point A and point B. The tunnel was the most direct, straight-line route between the two points. I had never experienced recognition in this pure, undiluted form. It was a mirroring. It was a fact. It was a cord pulled taut between us. Most of all, it was no longer a secret. I don't remember getting up, but I must have. I do remember kneeling in front of the TV. I touched the image of Mr. Roland's face as his words jumped, swerved, coalesced, attacked, and revealed. As the interview continued, he became more comfortable with the interviewer, and his facial tics and rapid blinking lessened. He masked what he couldn't control by taking long sips from a glass of water (or perhaps the clear liquid was gin). He also turned his head slightly and coughed into his left hand, which provided him with a second or two of privacy. It soon became clear to Mr. Roland and to me that the interviewer wanted him to perform for the camera. After each question-and-answer exchange, the interviewer would ask him for the tastes of her words and then his. Mr. Roland was oddly obliging, much more so than I would have been in his position. I soon realized that his pool of experiential flavors, in other words his actual food intake, was very British and that he didn't venture far from home for his gastronomical needs. "Curry fries" was the most unusual taste that this piano tuner from Manchester listed. The word "employment" triggered it, he told the interviewer. I said "employment" aloud and tasted olives from a can, which meant I tasted more can than olives. I felt more than a tinge of envy.
Monique Truong (Bitter in the Mouth)
were fighting to the death over a soggy pizza crust. “Doesn’t look that impressive,” Mike observed. We all hopped out of the cab and hurried through a light drizzle to the employee entrance. There was a small foyer where another guard was on duty, controlling a second set of secure, alarmed doors. The guard observed the arrival of our wet, improperly dressed group with concern until Catherine breezed through the door. Then her face lit up as though she were a small child who had just found Santa Claus coming down the chimney. “My stars, Mrs. Hale! It’s been far too long since you’ve graced this entrance.” “It certainly has, Lizette,” Catherine agreed. “My work in the States has taken
Stuart Gibbs (Spy School British Invasion)
Thus the ideal marriage at the end of a Jane Austen novel is not simply a conventional happy ending . . . It offers itself as an emblem of the ideal union of property and propriety -- a model to be emulated, a paradigm for a more general combination of the two on which the future of her society depends.
Tony Tanner (Jane Austen)
Then social mores had intervened. A distinct scene from junior high flushes vividly back. Girls sitting out of rotation volleyball in gym class stared at me all gap-mouthed when—of a rainy spring day—I spouted e. e. cummings. Through open green gym doors, sheets of rain erased the parking lot we normally stood staring at as if it were a refrigerator about to manifest food. The poem started: in Just-: spring when the world is mud- luscious… As I went on, Kitty Stanley sat cross-legged in black gym shorts and white blouse, peeling fuchsia polish off her thumbnail with a watchmaker’s precision. She was a mouth breather, Kitty, whose blond bouffant hairdo featured above her bangs a yarn bow the color of a kumquat. That it? Beverly said. Her black-lined gaze looked like an old-timey bandit mask. Indeed, I said. (This was my assholish T. S. Eliot stage circa ninth grade, when I peppered my speech with words I thought sounded British like indeed.) Is that a word, muddy delicious? Kitty said. Mud-luscious, I said. Not no real word, Beverly said, leaning back on both hands, legs crossed. I studied a volleyball arcing white across the gym ceiling and willed it to smash into Beverly’s freakishly round head. It’s squashing together luscious and lush and delicious, and all of it applied to spring mud. It’s poetic license, I said. I think it’s real smart how you learn every word so they come out any time you please, Kitty said. Beverly snorted. I get mud all over Bobby’s truck flaps, and believe you me, delicious don’t figure in. As insults go, it was weak, but Beverly’s facial expression—like she was smelling something—told me to put poetry right back where I’d drug it out from.
Mary Karr (Lit)
In 1858 only 5 percent of British army recruits could read and write; by the turn of the century the figure had risen to 85.4 percent. The 1880s had brought the institution of free libraries, which was followed by an explosion in journalism and the emergence of the twentieth-century mass culture which has transformed Western civilization.
William Manchester (A World Lit Only by Fire)
Lei giacque tra le sue braccia per tutta la notte, sentendosi sedotta, protetta e amata. Si chiese quando la vita fosse diventata tanto dolce. Percepì che qualcosa di meraviglioso stava iniziando.
Caroline Roberts
British men are the worst. Constant horndogs,” Alexandria interrupted. She lit up a cigarette. “They all have yellow fever. You can see it in their eyes. Looking for their next Cho Chang to ride.” “Ew, Alex,” Evelyn said. “You have the worst mouth.
Carolyn Huynh (The Fortunes of Jaded Women)
Nennius tells us, what Gildas omits, the name of the British soldier who won the crowning mercy of Mount Badon, and that name takes us out of the mist of dimly remembered history into the daylight of romance. There looms, large, uncertain, dim but glittering, the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Somewhere in the Island a great captain gathered the forces of Roman Britain and fought the barbarian invaders to the death. Around him, around his name and his deeds, shine all that romance and poetry can bestow. Twelve battles, all located in scenes untraceable, with foes unknown, except that they were heathen, are punctiliously set forth in the Latin of Nennius. Other authorities say, “No Arthur; at least, no proof of any Arthur.” It was only when Geoffrey of Monmouth six hundred years later was praising the splendours of feudalism and martial aristocracy that chivalry, honour, the Christian faith, knights in steel and ladies bewitching, are enshrined in a glorious circle lit by victory. Later these tales would be retold and embellished by the genius of Mallory, Spenser, and Tennyson. True or false, they have gained an immortal hold upon the thoughts of men. It is difficult to believe it was all an invention of a Welsh writer. If it was he must have been a marvellous inventor. Modern research has not accepted the annihilation of Arthur. Timidly but resolutely the latest and best-informed writers unite to proclaim his reality. They cannot tell when in this dark period he lived, or where he held sway and fought his battles. They are ready to believe however that there was a great British warrior, who kept the light of civilisation burning against all the storms that beat, and that behind his sword there sheltered a faithful following of which the memory did not fail. All four groups of the Celtic tribes which dwelt in the tilted uplands of Britain cheered themselves with the Arthurian legend, and each claimed their own region as the scene of his exploits. From Cornwall to Cumberland a search for Arthur’s realm or sphere has been pursued.The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning. One specimen of this method will suffice: "It is reasonably certain that a petty chieftain named Arthur did exist, probably in South Wales. It is possible that he may have held some military command uniting the tribal forces of the Celtic or highland zone or part of it against raiders and invaders (not all of them necessarily Teutonic). It is also possible that he may have engaged in all or some of the battles attributed to him; on the other hand, this attribution may belong to a later date." This is not much to show after so much toil and learning. Nonetheless, to have established a basis of fact for the story of Arthur is a service which should be respected. In this account we prefer to believe that the story with which Geoffrey delighted the fiction-loving Europe of the twelfth century is not all fancy. If we could see exactly what happened we should find ourselves in the presence of a theme as well founded, as inspired, and as inalienable from the inheritance of mankind as the Odyssey or the Old Testament. It is all true, or it ought to be; and more and better besides. And wherever men are fighting against barbarism, tyranny, and massacre, for freedom, law, and honour, let them remember that the fame of their deeds, even though they themselves be exterminated, may perhaps be celebrated as long as the world rolls round. Let us then declare that King Arthur and his noble knights, guarding the Sacred Flame of Christianity and the theme of a world order, sustained by valour, physical strength, and good horses and armour, slaughtered innumerable hosts of foul barbarians and set decent folk an example for all time.
Winston Churchill (A History of the English Speaking People ( Complete All 4 Volumes ) The Birth of Britain / The New World / The Age of Revolution / The Great Democracies)
passage of the Stamp Act, a tax meant to defray the costs incurred during the French and Indian War. The day the act was to take effect, November 1, 1765, a group of angry New Yorkers headed down Broadway to Fort George, torches in hand, to demand justice. While acting governor Cadwallader Colden hid in the fort with the stamps, the mob hoisted an effigy of Colden on the gallows. Then they tore down the fence surrounding the Bowling Green, lit a bonfire, and burned Colden’s valuable winter sleighs. Six months later, the Stamp Act was repealed. While the Sons of Liberty continued to jeer at all signs of British authority, the Loyalist citizens of New York, such as the DeLanceys, raised the cash to erect a gilded equestrian statue of George III to stand on the very spot in Bowling Green where the mob had rallied. In August 1770, the new gold statue of King George was unveiled by the Loyalists to great acclaim.
James Nevius (Footprints in New York: Tracing the Lives of Four Centuries of New Yorkers)
As spaces of promiscuous proximity, often lit poorly if at all, where existential fear suddenly was converted to the euphoria of being still alive and no longer having anything to lose, bunkers were also places of uncontrolled sexual encounters. The concern to discipline sexual conduct seems to have played a greater role in Great Britain than in Nazi Germany. Contrary to an idea born in the 1950s, according to which Nazism was marked by sexual repression, the anti-bourgeois dimension of the Volksgemeinschaft implied certain possibilities of sexual liberation.37 The British ‘people’s war’, on the other hand, was based far more strongly on a community founded on the bourgeois family and the need to repress sexual deviance, imputable both to women and the lower orders. As a clear sign of the particular role played by the family, the British authorities were initially against the idea of collective shelters, fearing that, in this mixing of classes, bourgeois virtue might be contaminated by the bad habits of the ‘lower orders’, leading to moral dissolution followed by a challenge to the social order. The middle classes were thus encouraged to build shelters in their gardens, which had the additional advantage of privatizing part of the costs bound up with air-raid precautions – something unthinkable in Germany, where the collective ideology of the Volksgemeinschaft was paramount.
Thomas Hippler (Governing from the Skies: A Global History of Aerial Bombing)
Facebook has ruthlessly curtailed the days of buying only one or two new dresses for ‘Wedding Season’, and so recycle-wearing your fancy frocks to the nuptials of couples from different friendship groups who were never going to show up in each others’ photos is a thing of the past. Now it’s a trip to Lakeside Shopping Centre every time I’m asked to share someone’s special day.
Sherill Turner (Him Downstairs: Laugh-out-loud British Chick Lit)