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Bartlett's Familiar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature
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Bartlett's Familiar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  1,085 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
This 16th edition of the book, first published in 1855, has been expanded to include more than 20,000 quotations and more than 340 new authors both historical and contemporary - from Russell Baker, The Doors, Elvis, Nadine Gordimer, Stephen Hawking, Primo Levi, Norman Mailer, Salman Rushdie, the Talmud, Alice Walker and Elie Wiesel. This edition has been revised and edited ...more
Hardcover, 1472 pages
Published October 22nd 2002 by Little, Brown (first published 1855)
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Nov 14, 2008 Aldean rated it it was amazing
This is another tome I would scarcely leave home without (not if I was going to be gone for more than forty-nine hours, at least). I had the library edition checked out as often as they would let me have it when I was teenager, and my sole reason for joining the Book-of-the-Month Club was to get my hands on my very own (and much newer) copy. In college I would sit up at night and page through, looking for the next day's quote, which I would then calligraphy onto an index card or other scrap of ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I have this book, and it's a wonderful resource. I hate to admit however that in this "digital age" I'm far more likely to, when preparing to speak, try to track down quotes I might want to use on line.

That is such a sad admission. There is in the volume something that can never be captured by a screen. It can be browsed and enjoyed. Like so many books it's a friend, that sets there on the shelf waiting for us to visit again, to stop by and spend time with the thoughts and wisdom saved here bet
Robbie Travis
Feb 02, 2015 Robbie Travis marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
Bartlett, J. & O’Brien, G. (2012) Bartlett’s familiar quotations. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, & Company.

Type of Reference: Handbook

Citation by: Robbie Travis

Content/Scope: This handbook includes over 20,000 passages, phrases, and proverbs from ancient and modern literature.

Accuracy/Authority/Bias: This is the longest-lived and most widely known collection of quotations available. The book was first published in 1885, and is currently in its 18th edition.

Arrangement/Presentation: Entries a
Jennifer Emberton
Familiar Quotations

Citation by: Jennifer Emberton
Type of Reference: Factbook
Call Number: 808.8 Bar
ISBN-13: 9780316250184
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 12/2/2014
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: eBook
Edition number: 18
Pages: 1504
File size: 3 MB

Content/Scope: This is an updated Bartlett quote book, with more than 2,500 new quotes!
Accuracy/Authority/Bias: Bartlett’s Familiar Quotes have been around for years. This edition appears to be just as reliable as the last. Howev
Jun 04, 2014 Monique rated it really liked it
Who does not Have Bartlett's quotations on their bookshelves. I, for one, and I will remedy this omission pronto and buy the latest edition.What a gem to be able to refer to at any time. It reminds me of browsing the dictionary when I was young and memorizing new words. Obviously, I needed a life...

My only beef with it is that quotations from French authors are translated in English; many I learned in French as a youngster and it is a bit jarring to see how the effect and meaning can be differen
Mar 08, 2008 Erica rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: quotation collectors
Shelves: reference
This book and Benet's Readers Encyclopedia have been a part of my life since I was old enough to read. My mother had several different editions of both books. We would sit together, each with an edition, reading bits we liked, and comparing what was included, and what had been deleted or added from edition to edition. My love for this book stems from both its content, and its context in my life. I know that the Interet has surpassed mere books for speed of reference, and I use the online version ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 08, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing
The strongest reason for getting rid of this book is the reason I probably never will--this stood on the family bookshelves before I was born--this edition is from 1955. I remember browsing through it as a child and finding quotations that spoke to me. As such it was a gateway to literature, since it made me want to read books by the authors of those beautiful lines. And I like that although there are Author and Subject Indices, the book is organized chronologically, from Ancient Egypt ("To ...more
Trying to find the perfect close to a (classy) love letter? Need an inspirational quote for a sadsack friend? Look no further ...

Sure you can 'google' a poet or a topic, but it's so much more fun to open to a random page and spend the next hour marking the best finds. Trust, me, I know.

My original copy, found in my parent's basement, was lost after I loaned it to a fellow x-country runner - she wanted to post motivational stuff on the locker room bb. And then she STOLE IT. Or at least she had i
Oct 02, 2014 Alicialeeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really really enjoy this book.It has some great quotations but not on authors I would expect.I own The Divine Comedy but never got a chance to read it and the selections from that book in my Bartlet's was really great but writers that I love and was hoping to see good quotes on like Poe and Lord Byron were a little disappointing.So its a mixed bag but holds lots of uncharted territory that I look forward to continue reading its such a large book.
Apr 20, 2015 Claude rated it really liked it
Well, some gems in here. Knowing how specific I am when looking for things, I personally just needed a little patience to find applicable thoughts, but in return I (conveniently) found many thought provoking passages/quotes.

Also, for the creative that deals with the use of language in art, I recommend this book as a sprawling pool of creative inspiration. Any book that does this is welcome to sit around on my desk.
Dec 28, 2008 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: information
I've read this cover to cover at least twice. I'm about to toss it on top of my toilet and read it again. It is consistently fascinating and easily digested.

I'm about a third of the way through transcribing all of my quotes into one page on my website. You can find it here:

I hope to be done by the end of winter break.
Mar 27, 2009 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's really meant to be a reference book, but I read it straight through once. There is some great stuff in here. All of the noteworthy passages from Shakespeare, also a lot from the classical Greek and Roman writers, and the Bible.
Stephen Witt
Sep 11, 2013 Stephen Witt marked it as reference
Shelves: purged
How obsolete is this thing? I don't even think it has any Simpsons quotes. I'm putting it on my bookshelf between my copy of the Minneapolis/St. Paul 1994 Yellow Pages and the 'C-D' volume of a World Book encyclopedia I stole from the library.
Feb 06, 2012 §-- rated it it was amazing
Reading collections always turns into a process of editing, of selecting from within the selection, of meta-collection.

This is a necessarily incomplete but nonetheless rich treasury of good things well said.

[I read the public domain Project Gutenberg version.]
Feb 02, 2015 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I use this falling apart paperback all the time when at a loss for words or want something special to quote when writing. I can't imagine living without it. Ok, that's a little dramatic, but you get the point.
Apr 06, 2008 booklady rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
It probably seems silly to list this book, but as I use certain reference books ALL the time, I wanted them on my bookshelves.
Oct 16, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting to see where some quotes came from - for me, though, a lot of them were too obscure or random to be "familiar."
Fredrick Danysh
A compilation of quotes from famous people throughout history. A useful reference tool that covers many diverse topics. It is easy to use.
Aug 02, 2012 Val rated it really liked it
I love this book and use it often. It was a gift to my Father on his 60th birthday. I inherited it upon his demise. Thanks Dad, for introducing me to wonderful books.
May 20, 2016 Jeanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: muse
Just because "they" have said it better than you, you need a boost to think in a new direction and perspective is never boring.
Virginia Carmichael
Absolutely indispensable. Wonderful for every writer. 500 pages of concordance makes it easy to use. :)
George King
Jun 23, 2012 George King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A student of literature should not be without this book--or a writer, or just about anybody with intellectual curiosity.
Helpful guide to quotations. Well-indexed with diverse entries from various figures and periods about multitudinous people and subjects.
Jul 04, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing
This isn't a book you read to finish, but I really like having it around for when I'm writing a paper and need a good quote, or just to look something up for my own knowledge.
Helpful guide to quotations. Well-indexed with diverse entries from various figures and periods about multitudinous people and subjects.
C.S. rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2008
Carolyn rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2013
Jen G
Jen G rated it really liked it
Aug 15, 2014
Tonya Bailey
Tonya Bailey rated it it was amazing
Jul 28, 2014
Ross Bennett
Ross Bennett rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2015
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Goodreads Librari...: Seeking Source of Quote, "The task is not to see . . . ." 20 166 Oct 31, 2016 05:18PM  
  • Roget International Thesaurus
  • A Dictionary of Modern English Usage
  • The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
  • The New York Public Library Desk Reference
  • The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
  • Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
  • Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia
  • Garner's Modern American Usage
  • The American Heritage Dictionary
  • Dictionary of Theories
  • 501 German Verbs
  • The Oxford Companion to the English Language
  • Dictionary of Word Origins: Histories of More Than 8,000 English-Language Words
  • The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law
  • A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers
  • Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
  • The Oxford Companion to English Literature
(June 14, 1820 – December 3, 1905). "Father a descendant of the pilgrim ship Mayflower. A very bright boy, he was reading at age three and had read the entire Bible by nine. He finished school at age sixteen and went to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he worked for the University Bookstore that served Harvard. By age twenty-nine he owned the store. Known for his memory for quotations and trivia, " ...more
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