10 Henry James Quotes of Thought and Emotion

By February 28, 2017Authors, Quotations

Henry James (15th April 1843 – 28th February 1916) was an American born, British author and is regarded as one of the key figures of 19th century literary realism.

James is best known for Turn of the Screw, and The Portrait of a Lady (USUK), which looked at the contrast between Europeans and Americans, and several of the author’s novels run along the same theme. His style of writing from the protagonists point of view allows narrative to include conciousness and perception making him a groundbreaking author of his day.

Today we’re looking at some quotes from the author, here are our favourites.

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”

“I don’t want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did.”

“She feels in italics and thinks in CAPITALS.”

“Sorrow comes in great waves…but rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us, it leaves us. And we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain.”

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”



“Never say you know the last word about any human heart.”

“Try to be one of those on whom nothing is lost.”

“…and the great advantage of being a literary woman, was that you could go everywhere and do everything.”

“Excellence does not require perfection.”

“One can’t judge till one’s forty; before that we’re too eager, too hard, too cruel, and in addition much too ignorant.”

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