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Josephine Tey quotes (showing 1-20 of 20)

“The trouble with you, dear, is that you think an angel of the Lord as a creature with wings, whereas he is probably a scruffy little man with a bowler hat.”
Josephine Tey, The Franchise Affair
“If you think about the unthinkable long enough it becomes quite reasonable.”
Josephine Tey
“It's an odd thing but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you. They don't want to have their ideas upset. It rouses some vague uneasiness in them, I think, and they resent it. So they reject it and refuse to think about it. If they were merely indifferent it would be natural and understandable. But it is much stronger than that, much more positive. They are annoyed.

Very odd, isn't it.”
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
“Most people's first books are their best anyways. It's the one they wanted most to write.”
Josephine Tey
“The truth of anything at all doesn't lie in someone's account of it. It lies in all the small facts of the time. An advertisement in a paper, the sale of a house, the price of a ring.”
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
“How old was More when Richard succeeded?
He was five.
When that dramatic council scene had taken place at the Tower, Thomas More had been five years old. He had been only eight when Richard died at Bosworth.
Everything in that history had been hearsay.”
Josephine Tey
“Alan Grant: "There are... far too many words written. Millions and millions of them pouring from the presses every minute. It's a horrible thought."

The Midget (his nurse): "You sound constipated.”
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
“She put her cup down and sighed again with pleasure. "I can't think how the Nonconformists have failed to discover coffee."

"Discover it?"

"Yes. As a snare. It does far more for one than drink. And yet no one preaches about it, or signs pledges about it. Five mouthfuls and the world looks rosy.”
Josephine Tey, Brat Farrar
tags: coffee
“Grant had dealt too long with the human intelligence to accept as truth someone's report of someone's report of what that someone remembered to have seen or been told.”
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
“He knew by heart every last minute crack on its surface. He had made maps of the ceiling and gone exploring on them; rivers, islands, and continents. He had made guessing games of it and discovered hidden objects; faces, birds, and fishes. He made mathematical calculations of it and rediscovered his childhood; theorems, angles, and triangles. There was practically nothing else he could do but look at it. He hated the sight of it.”
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
“She'll never ride," Eleanor said. She can't even bump the saddle yet."

"Perhaps loony people can't ride," Ruth suggested.

"Ruth," Bee said, with vigour. "The pupils at the Manor are not lunatic. They are not even mentally deficient. They are just 'difficult.'"

"Ill-adjusted is the technical description," Simon said.

"Well, they behave like lunatics. If you behave like a lunatic how is anyone to tell that you're not one?”
Josephine Tey, Brat Farrar
“Ruth puts in all the tiddley bits and the expression and doesn’t mind how many wrong notes she strikes, but with Jane it is accuracy or nothing. I don’t know which Chopin would have hated more,” Eleanor said, folding bread and butter into a thickness that would match her appetite.”
Josephine Tey, Brat Farrar
tags: chopin
“One would expect boredom to be a great yawning emotion, but it isn't, of course. It's a small niggling thing.”
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
“That is why historians surprise me. They seem to have no talent for the likeliness of any situation. They see history like a peepshow; with two-dimensional figures against a distant background.”
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
“The Sweat and the Furrow was Silas Weekley being earthly and spade-conscious all over seven hundred pages. The situation, to judge from the first paragraph, had not materially changed since Silas's last book: mother lying-in with her eleventh upstairs, father laid-out after his ninth downstairs, eldest son lying to the Government in the cow-shed, eldest daughter lying with her lover in the the hayloft, everyone else lying low in the barn. The rain dripped from the thatch, and the manure steamed in the midden. Silas never omitted the manure. It was not Silas's fault that its steam provided the only uprising element in the picture. If Silas could have discovered a brand of steam that steamed downwards, Silas would have introduced it.”
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
“A thousand people drowned in floods in China are news: a solitary child drowned in a pond is tragedy.”
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
“The light died on the window-sill as the last survivor of a charge dies on the enemy parapet, murdered but glorious.”
Josephine Tey, The Man in the Queue
“Next Christmas he was going to open this shabby sack of hers... and put something in the money compartment. She would fritter it away, of course, in small unimportances; so that in the end she would not know what she had done with it; but perhaps a series of small satisfactions scattered like sequins over the texture of everyday life was of greater worth than the academic satisfaction of owning a collection of fine objects at the back of a drawer.”
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
“She would go away deep into the green and white and yellow countryside, and smell the may and lie in the grass and feel the world turning on its axis, and remember that it was a very large world, and that College griefs were mild and bitter but soon over and that in the Scale of Things they were undeniably Very Small Beer.”
Josephine Tey, Miss Pym Disposes
“CONTENTS: Chapter”
Josephine Tey, Brat Farrar

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