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Quotes of the day: Mary Shelley

Published Friday, August 30, 2013 @ 12:03 AM EDT
Aug 30 2013

Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; August 30, 1797 - February 1, 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A slavish bondage to parents cramps every faculty of the mind.

Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.

Elegance is inferior to virtue.

Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.

How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.

How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery!

I could not understand why men who knew all about good and evil could hate and kill each other.

I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.

If our impulses were confined to hunger, thirst, and desire, we might be nearly free; but now we are moved by every wind that blows and a chance word or scene that that word may convey to us.

Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos.

It is a farce to call any being virtuous whose virtues do not result from the exercise of its own reason.

It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.

Life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated.

Live, and be happy, and make others so.

No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose- a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.

Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.

The beginning is always today.

The being cannot be termed rational or virtuous, who obeys any authority, but that of reason.

The labors of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind.

The name of Italy has magic in its very syllables.

The same energy of character which renders a man a daring villain would have rendered him useful in society, had that society been well organized.

What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?

When falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?

With how many things are we on the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries.

A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind, and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility.

Categories: Mary Shelley, Quotes of the day


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