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Quotes of the day: Mary Roberts Rinehart

Published Tuesday, August 11, 2015 @ 1:07 PM EDT
Aug 11 2015

Pittsburgh-born Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876 – September 22, 1958) was an American writer, often called the American Agatha Christie, although her first mystery novel was published 14 years before Christie's first novel in 1922. Rinehart is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it" from her novel The Door (1930), although the novel does not use the exact phrase. Rinehart is also considered to have invented the "Had-I-But- Known" school of mystery writing, with the publication of The Circular Staircase (1908). She also created a costumed super-criminal called "the Bat", cited by Bob Kane as one of the inspirations for his "Batman". (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A cat and a Bible, and nobody needs to be lonely.

A little work, a little sleep, a little love and it's all over.

A man may shout the eternal virtues and be unheard forever, but if he babble nonsense in a wilderness it will travel around the world.

All houses in which men have lived and suffered and died are haunted houses.

And there are no pockets in shrouds!

Because we are always staring at the stars, we learn the shortness of our arms.

Enemies are an indication of character.

Every act of one's life is the unavoidable result of every act that has preceded it.

From class consciousness to class hatred was but a step.

Girls inevitably grew into women, but something of the boy persisted in every man.

Great loves were almost always great tragedies. Perhaps it was because love was never truly great until the element of sacrifice entered into it.

I found that my name signed to a check was even more welcome than when signed to a letter.

I hate those men who would send into war youth to fight and die for them; the pride and cowardice of those old men, making their wars that boys must die.

I never saw a lawyer yet who would admit he was making money.

I suppose it is because woman's courage is mental and man's physical, that in times of great strain women always make the better showing.

It is only in his head that man is heroic; in the pit of his stomach he is always a coward.

It takes a good many years and some pretty hard knocks to make people tolerant.

It's money that brings trouble. It always has and it always will.

Love is like the measles, all the worse when it comes late.

Men deceive themselves; they look back on the children who were once themselves, and attempt to reconstruct them. But they can no longer think like the child.

Men play harder than they work; women work harder than they play.

Peace is not a passive but an active condition, not a negation but an affirmation.

Pretense is the oil that lubricates society.

Suspicion is like the rain. It falls on the just and on the unjust.

That is the tragedy of growing old... You don't leave the world. It leaves you.

The greatest weapon in the world... is ridicule.

The one pleasure that never palls is the pleasure of not going to church.

The world doesn't come to the clever folks, it comes to the stubborn, obstinate, one-idea-at-a-time people.

There are lies and lies. Now and then the Great Recorder must put one on the credit side of the balance, one that has saved intolerable suffering, or has made well and happy a sick soul.

There comes a time when ambition ceases to burn, or romance to stir, and the highest cry of the human heart is for peace.

There is no place in the world, I imagine, for a philosopher with a sense of humor, a new leisure, and an inquiring turn of mind!

There is no truly honest autobiography.

To the bottle! In infancy, the milk bottle; in our prime, the wine bottle; in our dotage, the pill bottle.

What a tragedy it was that the only thing age could offer to youth was its own experience, and that the experiences of others were never profitable.

Women are like dogs really. They love like dogs, a little insistently. And they like to fetch and carry and come back wistfully after hard words, and learn rather easily to carry a basket.


(August 12 is also the birthday of Cecil B. DeMille and William Goldman.)

Categories: Mary Roberts Rinehart, Quotes of the day


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