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Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  762 ratings  ·  30 reviews
First published in 1855, BARTLETT'S FAMILIAR QUOTATIONS has been completely updated and revised for the seventeenth edition by Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Justin Kaplan. This 17th edition, under Kaplan's splendid direction, contains over 20,000 quotations, representing 2,500 authors, 90 of whom are new to BARTLETT'S. New comers include Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton,...more
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Published October 22nd 2002 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1855)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,442)
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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 p...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...more
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...more
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.
Mar 08, 2008 Erica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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)
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 resi...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...more
Josh Craddock
Aug 22, 2014 Josh Craddock is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
"It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations." - Sir Winston Churchill
Won this as a strange academic prize in secondary school. I REALLY loved this book.
Dec 28, 2008 Eric rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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.]
Don't ask me why, I have loved collecting quotes since a kid in Jr High. This was one of my all time favorite gifts for Christmas from my parents along with the Complete Works of Wm Shakespeare. Of course, the transistor radio was nifty, too!
Feb 17, 2009 Stephen marked it as reference  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 20, 2012 Mainon marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Is there room for a hard-copy reference like this in the digital age? I understand they're developing an app, and I'm sure there's a digital version, but how many people turn to an actual book these days when they want to look up a quotation?
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.
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.
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.
George King
A student of literature should not be without this book--or a writer, or just about anybody with intellectual curiosity.
It probably seems silly to list this book, but as I use certain reference books ALL the time, I wanted them on my bookshelves.
Interesting to see where some quotes came from - for me, though, a lot of them were too obscure or random to be "familiar."
James Kingman
Weirdly, I actually read this cover to cover, a few pages a day. Quite a record of human thought.
I used to go through this nightly as a pre-teen and teen, every page. A must for a household.
Mar 01, 2014 Nola marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This is the 14th Edition edited by Emily Morison Beck, published in 1968.
i have a note book of quotes form this book gathered in high school
Joy H.
I must check to see which edition I own.
Sep 11, 2011 Rachel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, my-old-books
I have the 1892 edition
I LOVE this book.
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(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
More about John Bartlett...
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations Bartlett's Words to Live By: Advice and Inspiration for Everyday Life Bartlett's Shakespeare Quotations Chequered Justice BARTLETT'S FAMILIAR QUOTATIONS

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