Wide World of Quotes > William Makepeace Thackeray Quotes


William Makepeace Thackeray
English novelist
(1811-63)



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He who meanly admires mean things is a Snob.
-- The Book of Snobs (1848)

This I set down as a positive truth. A woman with fair opportunities, and without a positive hump, may marry whom she likes.
-- Vanity Fair (1847-48)

Some cynical Frenchman has said that there are two parties to a love-transaction: the one who loves and the other who condescends to be so treated.
-- Vanity Fair (1847-48)

Darkness came down on the field and city: and Amelia was praying for George, who was lying on his face, with a bullet through his heart.
-- Vanity Fair (1847-48)

I think I could be a good woman if I had five thousand a year.
-- Vanity Fair (1847-48)

When you think that the eyes of your childhood dried at the sight of a piece of gingerbread, and that a plum-ckae was a compensation for the agony of parting with your mamma and sisters; O my friend and brother, you need not be too confident of your own fine feelings.
-- Vanity Fair (1847-48)

Ah! Vanitas vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied? — Come, children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played out.
-- Vanity Fair (1847-48)

Tis not the dying for a faith that's so hard, Master Harry — everyman of every nation has done that — 'tis the living up to it that is difficult, as I know to my cost.
-- The History of Henry Esmond (1852)

'Tis strange what a man may do, and a woman yet think him an angel.
-- The History of Henry Esmond (1852)

There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen to write.
-- The History of Henry Esmond (1852)

The leopard follows his nature as the lamb does, and acts after leopard law; she can neither help her beauty, nor her courage, nor her cruelty; nor a single spot on her shining coat; nor the conquering spirit which impels her; nor the shot which brings her down.
-- The History of Henry Esmond (1852)

Quotes about Thackeray

Thackeray is everybody's past — is everybody's youth. Forgotten friends flit about the passages of dreamy colleges and unremembered clubs; we hear fragments of unfinished conversations, we see faces without names for an instant, fixed forever in some trivial grimace: we smell the strong smell of social cliques now quite incongruous to us; and there stir in all the little rooms at once the hundred ghosts of oneself.
-- G. K. Chesterton, The Victorian Age in Literature (1913)


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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