Top Victorian Quotes

Browse top 120 famous quotes and sayings about Victorian by most favorite authors.

Favorite Victorian Quotes

1. "My voice went recently, never happened before, off like a tap. I had to sit in silence for nine days, chalkboard around my neck. Like an old-school mime. Like a kid in the naughty corner. Like a Victorian mute."
Author: Adele
2. "My grandmother flew only once in her life, and that was the day she and her new husband ascended into the skies of Victorian London in the wicker basket of a hot-air balloon. They were soon to emigrate to Canada, and the aerial ride was meant to be a last view of their beloved England."
Author: Alan Bradley
3. "I've had so many influences and sources of inspiration as an illustrator that it is impossible to name just one. I loved Aubrey Beardsley when I was a student, and then Edmund Dulac and other Golden Age illustrators made a big impact, as well as Victorian painters like Richard Dadd and Edward Burne-Jones. My long-term heroes though are Albretch Durer, Brueghel, Hieronymous Bosch, Jan Van Eyck, Leonardo, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Turner and Degas. What most of them have in common is brilliant draughtsmanship and a strong linear or graphic quality. Most are also printmakers. The one I keep going back to and who fascinates me the most is JMW Turner, the greatest watercolourist."
Author: Alan Lee
4. "Redheads get so stereotyped. You're either exotic and wild or totally Victorian."
Author: Alicia Witt
5. "... Likewise, Oscar Wilde asked an English journalist to look over 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' before publication: "Will you also look after my 'wills' and 'shalls' in proof. I am Celtic in my use of these words, not English." Wilde's novel upset virtually every code of late Victorian respectability, but he had to get his modal auxiliaries just right."
Author: Andrew Elfenbein
6. "Victorian rigidities were such that ladies were not even allowed to blow out candles in mixed company, as that required them to pucker their lips suggestively. They could not say that they were going "to bed"--that planted too stimulating an image--but merely that they were "retiring." It became effectively impossible to discuss clothing in even a clinical sense without resort to euphemisms. Trousers became "nether integuments" or simply "inexpressibles" and underwear was "linen." Women could refer among themselves to petticoats or, in hushed tones, stockings, but could mention almost nothing else that brushed bare flesh."
Author: Bill Bryson
7. "8. Quoted in Clive Leatherdale, Dracula: The Novel and the Legend (Wellingborough, Northants: Aquarian Press, 1985), p. 80. 9. H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds (Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1898), Book II, Ch. II, p. 202. 10. Ibid., pp. 201, 200. 11. E. J. Hobsbawm, Industry and Empire (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969), p. 192. 12. On this important subject, see Daniel Pick's Faces of Degeneration: A European Disorder c. 1848 – c. 1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989) and his ‘ "Terrors of the night": Dracula and "Degeneration" in the Late Nineteenth Century', Critical Quarterly (Winter 1988). 13. For an account of and extracts from books such as these, see The Victorian Imagination: A Sampler, ed. Richard Manton (New York: Grove"
Author: Bram Stoker
8. "Mention the gothic, and many readers will probably picture gloomy castles and an assortment of sinister Victoriana. However, the truth is that the gothic genre has continued to flourish and evolve since the days of Bram Stoker, producing some of its most interesting and accomplished examples in the 20th century - in literature, film and beyond."
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
9. "I know more about Emily Bronte than anyone I know. I know enough about her family to have been a part. I've walked with her on her damp luscious lonely moors, watched her strain to write on miniscule scraps of paper, seen her hide her works from prying eyes. I've brooded alongside her and participated in her taciturnity. Before her death at the ripe old age of 30, I nursed her from the things that ultimately killed her: tuberculosis with a side order of Victorian thinking."
Author: Chila Woychik
10. "It is a sort of great Victorian truth that actually, trying to do the right thing is pretty good for you and pretty good for business as well, by and large."
Author: Chris Patten
11. "Visitors come and go.Daily I read tea leaves for signsof the approaching century:a raven perched on a crossa sword piercing a cloud--A Victorian Life"
Author: Clara Blackwood
12. "The reason Victorian society was so restricted and repressed was that it was impossible to move without knocking something over."
Author: Connie Willis
13. "A Grand Design we couldn't see because we were part of it. A Grand Design we only got occasional, fleeting glimpses of. A Grand Design involving the entire course of history and all of time and space that, for some unfathomable reason, chose to work out its designs with cats and croquet mallets and penwipers, to say nothing of the dog. And a hideous piece of Victorian artwork. And us."
Author: Connie Willis
14. "He had been haunted his whole life by a mildcase of claustrophobia—the vestige of a childhood incident he had never quite overcome.Langdon's aversion to closed spaces was by no means debilitating, but it had always frustrated him.It manifested itself in subtle ways. He avoided enclosed sports like racquetball or squash, and he hadgladly paid a small fortune for his airy, high-ceilinged Victorian home even though economical facultyhousing was readily available. Langdon had often suspected his attraction to the art world as a youngboy sprang from his love of museums' wide open spaces."
Author: Dan Brown
15. "One of Dickens' biggest influences was the growth of London as a Victorian city, and the extremes being created as it expanded."
Author: Danny Boyle
16. "But there is no doubt that to attempt a novel of ideas is to give oneself a handicap: the parochialism of our culture is intense. For instance, decade after decade bright young men and women emerge from their universities able to say proudly: 'Of course I know nothing about German literature.' It is the mode. The Victorians knew everything about German literature, but were able with a clear conscience not to know much about the French."
Author: Doris Lessing
17. "As I got older, I got more Victorian and morbid. I got into things that circled around death, like skulls or morgue photographs or handwritten diaries. They can be almost haunted with all this history, and you project onto it and then it gets onto you."
Author: Dustin Yellin
18. "The Victorian era is the sexiest age for me, but I also like a woman in a pair of jeans."
Author: Dylan McDermott
19. "THREE DAYS AND twelve psychics later, Katie and Jorlan had developed a routine. Morning: jog, visit psychics. Afternoon: work at the Victorian. Evening: talk, watch television. Twilight: sleep apart and fantasize."
Author: Gena Showalter
20. "All the comics are sigils. "Sigil" as a word is out of date. All this magic stuff needs new terminology because it's not what people are being told it is at all. It's not all this wearying symbolic misdirection that's being dragged up from the Victorian Age, when no-one was allowed to talk plainly and everything was in coy poetic code. The world's at a crisis point and it's time to stop bullshitting around with Qabalah and Thelema and Chaos and Information and all the rest of the metaphoric smoke and mirrors designed to make the rubes think magicians are 'special' people with special powers. It's not like that. Everyone does magic all the time in different ways. "Life" plus "significance" = magic."
Author: Grant Morrison
21. "If my sister were a character in a Victorian drama, she would be the snobbish rich girl with a penchant for talking shit about everyone behind their fan."
Author: Heather Demetrios
22. "You can't hurt him. He's an endangered species!" "Vampires are not endangered." Van's tone made it clear that it was his life's work to rectify this regrettable situation. "No, not that," Zack said dismissively. "He's a Victorian!" "Brainwashed," Van muttered. "Crazy," Sarah proclaimed. "Steampunk," I corrected with a sigh."
Author: Helen Keeble
23. "Discussions of the effects of serial publication of Victorian novels on their authors and readers1 usually draw attention to the author's peculiar opportunities for cliff-hanging suspense, as, for instance, when Thackeray has Becky Sharp counter old Sir Pitt's marriage proposal at the end of Vanity Fair's fourth number with the revelationthat she is already married, and the reader must wait a month before the husband's identity is revealed. Or it may be pointed out how the author can modify his story in response to his readers' complaints or recommendations, as when Trollope records in hisAutobiography how he wrote Mrs Proudie out of the Barchester Chronicles after overhearing two clergymen in the Athenaeum complaining of his habit of reintroducing the same characters in his fiction."
Author: Ian Gregor
24. "Napoleon, who had an aversion to the moral laxity of the eighteenth century, which he blamed on the domination of society by women, was determined to reform family life on Roman, or perhaps rather on Corsican, principles. It was with him, not with Queen Victoria, that Victorian morality originated."
Author: J. Christopher Herold
25. "His statement to himself should have been 'I possess this now,therefore I am happy' , instead of what it so Victorianly was: 'I cannot possess this forever, therefore I am sad."
Author: John Fowles
26. "But all over-expression, whether by journalists, poets, novelists, or clergymen, is bad for the language, bad for the mind; and by over-expression, I mean the use of words running beyond the sincere feeling of writer or speaker or beyond what the event will sanely carry. From time to time a crusade is preached against it from the text: ‘The cat was on the mat.' Some Victorian scribe, we must suppose, once wrote: ‘Stretching herself with feline grace and emitting those sounds immemorially connected with satisfaction, Grimalkin lay on a rug whose richly variegated pattern spoke eloquently of the Orient and all the wonders of the Arabian Nights.' And an exasperated reader annotated the margin with the shorter version of the absorbing event. How the late Georgian scribe will express the occurrence we do not yet know. Thus, perhaps: ‘What there is of cat is cat is what of cat there lying cat is what on what of mat laying cat.' The reader will probably the margin with ‘Some cat!"
Author: John Galsworthy
27. "I was a bit of a Victorian Lady, fainting-wise."
Author: John Green
28. "I suspect that beneath your offensively and vulgarly effeminate façade there may be a soul of sorts. Have you read widely in Boethius?""Who? Oh, heavens no. I never even read newspapers.""Then you must begin a reading program immediately so that you may understand the crises of our age," Ignatius said solemnly. "Begin with the late Romans, including Boethius, of course. Then you should dip rather extensively into early Medieval. You may skip the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. That is mostly dangerous propaganda. Now that I think of it, you had better skip the Romantics and the Victorians, too. For the contemporary period, you should study some selected comic books.""You're fantastic.""I recommend Batman especially, for he tends to transcend the abysmal society in which he's found himself. His morality is rather rigid, also. I rather respect Batman."
Author: John Kennedy Toole
29. "Oh, misanthropy and sourness. Gary wanted to enjoy being a man of wealth and leisure, but the country was making it none too easy. All around him, millions of newly minted American millionaires were engaged in the identical pursuit of feeling extraordinary - of buying the perfect Victorian, of skiing the virgin slope, of knowing the chef personally, of locating the beach that had no footprints. There were further tens of millions of young Americans who didn't have money but were nonetheless chasing the Perfect Cool. And meanwhile the sad truth was that not everyone could be extraordinary, not everyone could be extremely cool; because whom would this leave to be ordinary? Who would perform the thankless work of being comparatively uncool?"
Author: Jonathan Franzen
30. "(…) the New Woman of the 1920s boldly asserted her right to dance, drink, smoke, and date—to work her own property, to live free of the strictures that governed her mother's generation. (…) She flouted Victorian-era conventions and scandalized her parents. In many ways, she controlled her own destiny."
Author: Joshua Zeitz
31. "Standing at the original Victorian counter was a man in a long black leather coat. His hair had been grown to counteract its unequivocal retreat from the top of his head, and was fashioned into a mean, frail ponytail that hung limply down his back. Blooms of acne highlighted his vampire-white skin."
Author: Julia Stuart
32. "I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex."
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
33. "The history of the Victorian Age will never be written: we know too much about it."
Author: Lytton Strachey
34. "Every dictionary contains a world. I open a book of thieves' slang from Queen Anne's reign and they have a hundred words for swords, for wenches, and for being hanged. They did no die, they danced on nothing. Then I peek into any one of my rural Victorian dictionaries, compiled by a lonely clergyman, with words for coppices, thickets, lanes, diseases of horses and innumerable terms for kinds of eel. They gave names to the things of their lives, and their lives are collected in these dictionaries – every detail and joke and belief. I have their worlds piled up on my desk."
Author: Mark Forsyth
35. "Like a modern counterpart of a tightly-corseted Victorian, she needed to unbutton herself, learn the act of relaxation."
Author: Martin Edwards
36. "Verbosity was an established Victorian trait."
Author: Matthew Engel
37. "We live in forgotten Victorian knife-plunging Manchester, where everything lies wherever it was left over one hundred years ago. The safe streets are dimly lit, the others not lit at all, but both represent a danger that you're asking for should you find yourself out there once curtains have closed for tea."
Author: Morrissey
38. "The Victorian woman became her ovaries, as today's woman has become her "beauty."
Author: Naomi Wolf
39. "Like sex in Victorian England, the reality of Big Business today is our big dirty secret."
Author: Ralph Nader
40. "As a novelist, Scott's influence was immense: his creation of a wide range of characters from all levels of society was immediately likened to Shakespeare's; the use of historical settings became a mainstay of Victorian and later fiction; his short stories helped initiate that form; his antiquarian researches and collections were a major contribution to the culture of Scotland."
Author: Ronald Carter
41. "All you men still have the Victorian hangover. I suppose you think woman's place is in the home, too?" "Not my home."
Author: Ross Macdonald
42. "There is a nice Victorian reticence in denying the probability of a miserable prelude to mortality, and it is what everyone wants to hear. But if peace and dignity are what we delude ourselves to expect, most of us will die wondering what we, our our doctos, have done wrong."
Author: Sherwin B. Nuland
43. "Merkin had used only one drop of the "just soap." Two drops would have made her Master walk slightly awkwardly. Three drops would have made a Victorian gentleman utter something really lustful, such as "you transfix me quite."
Author: Sorin Suciu
44. "She liked Victorian novels. They were the only kind of novel you could read while eating an apple."
Author: Stella Gibbons
45. "Don;t blush, for God's sake. You and your blushing - you're like some Victorian maiden."
Author: Sylvia Brownrigg
46. "They are approaching now a lengthy brick improvisation, a Victorian paraphrase of what once, long ago, resulted in Gothic cathedrals—but which, in its own time, arose not from any need to climb through the fashioning of suitable confusions toward any apical God, but more in a derangement of aim, a doubt as to the God's actual locus (or, in some, as to its very existence), out of a cruel network of sensuous moments that could not be transcended and so bent the intentions of the builders not on any zenith, but back to fright, to simple escape, in whatever direction, from what the industrial smoke, street excrement, windowless warrens, shrugging leather forests of drive belts, flowing and patient shadow states of the rats and flies, were saying about the chances for mercy that year."
Author: Thomas Pynchon
47. "No Victorian novel approaches Middlemarch in its width of reference, its intellectual power, or the imperturbable spaciousness of its narrative... I doubt if any Victorian novelist has as much to teach the modern novelists as George Eliot."
Author: V.S. Pritchett
48. "My interests span biology, though sometimes I feel like an anachronism, somebody from the Victorian era when there weren't so many boundaries dividing the sciences."
Author: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
49. "If I were a modern writing about a modern young woman I would have to do her wedding night in grisly detail. The custom of the country and the times would demand a description, preferable "comic," of foreplay, lubrication, penetration, and climax and in deference to the accepted opinions about Victorian love, I would have to abort the climax and end the wedding night in tears and desolate comfortings. But I don't know. I have a good deal of confidence in both Susan Burling and the man she married. I imagine they worked it out without the need of any scientific lubricity and with even less need to make their privacies public."
Author: Wallace Stegner
50. "Everyone who writes in the sub-genre of Victorian mystery stands in [Sir Arthur Conan] Doyle's shadow."
Author: Will Thomas

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I was about to ask about it when Daniel flopped down on the mattress. He pulled off his shoes and went for the zipper of his jumpsuit. A flash of panic went through my body. I turned my head and lowered my gaze."Don't worry prescious," Daniel said "I'm not going to violate your virgin eyes."
Author: Bree Despain

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