Rebecca West

These are good today.  From Quotes of the Day, G. Armour Van Horn

Cicely Isabel Fairfield was born at London on this day in 1892, in the home of a journalist who provided an atmosphere of lively debate and intellectual stimulation but who had numerous affairs before abandoning the family when “Cissy” was only eight. She attended George Watson’s Ladies College at Edinburgh but left in 1907 after a bout of tuberculosis and had no further education. She trained to be an actress, adopting the name Rebecca West based on an Ibsen play, but became involved in writing for the feminist press. She had a ten-year affair with H. G. Wells and remained friendly with him afterwards, but not with their son. She wrote essays, reviews, novels, and non-fiction books, Bernard Shaw said, “Rebecca can handle a pen as brilliantly as ever I could and much more savagely.”


I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is. I only know that people call me a feminist when I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.

It is queer how it is always one’s virtues and not one’s vices that precipitate one into disaster.

Did St. Francis preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.

If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be: ‘It seemed a good idea at the time.’

All our Western thought is founded on this repulsive pretence that pain is the proper price of any good thing.

I do not myself find it agreeable to be ninety, and I cannot imagine why it should seem so to other people. It is not that you have any fears about your own death, it is that your upholstery is already dead around you.
All from Rebecca West, 1892 – 1983