A. N. Wilson Quotes

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All quotes by A. N. Wilson: Books Church History Writing more...
  • I'm not saying all publishers have to be literary, but some interest in books would help.

    Book   Helping   Interest  
  • This book has been a catalogue of mistakes by politicians, moral and practical disasters which led to wars, enslavement and wretchedness on a scale which no previous age could have dreaded or dreamed of.

    War   Mistake   Book  
  • If you read about Mussolini or Stalin or some of these other great monsters of history, they were at it all the time, that they were getting up in the morning very early. They were physically very active. They didn't eat lunch.

  • I was once naïve enough to ask the late Duke of Devonshire why he liked the town of Eastbourne. He replied with a self-deprecating shrug that one of the things he liked was that he owned it.

  • I'm like Jane Austen - I work on the corner of the dining table.

    Dining   Tables   Austen  
    "AN Wilson: 'Everyone writes in Tolstoy's shadow'". Interview with William Skidelsky, www.theguardian.com. April 21, 2012.
  • It is the woman - nearly always - in spite of all the advances of modern feminism, who still takes responsibility for the bulk of the chores, as well as doing her paid job. This is true even in households where men try to be unselfish and to do their share.

  • Everyone writes in Tolstoy's shadow, whether one feels oneself to be Tolstoyan or not.

    Writing   Shadow   Feels  
    "AN Wilson: 'Everyone writes in Tolstoy's shadow'". Interview with William Skidelsky, www.theguardian.com. April 21, 2012.
  • I think I became a Catholic to annoy my father.

  • IQ in general has improved since tests first began. Psychologists think that this is because modern life becomes ever more complicated.

  • When Christians start thinking about Jesus, things start breaking down, they lose their faith. It's perfectly possible to go to church every Sunday and not ask any questions, just because you like it as a way of life. They fear that if they ask questions they'll lose their Christ, the very linchpin of their religion.

  • Millions of Christians can and do go through life attending church, listening to sermons, reciting the creeds and never confront the seeming contradictions, redaction and myths passed off as verifiable history.

  • The Royal Family are not like you and me. They live in houses so big that you can walk round all day and never need to meet your spouse. The Queen and Prince Philip have never shared a bedroom in their lives. They don't even have breakfast together.

    Family   Queens   House  
  • We cannot hope for a society in which formal organized religion dies out. But we can stop behaving as if it was worthy of our collective respect.

    A. N. Wilson (1991). “Against religion”, Vintage
  • One symptom of his (Hitler) being strangely at variance with reality, or the nature of things,was his gift for wearing inappropriate of ludicrous clothing...When he was supposed to be starting a militaristic revolution he was wearing evening dress and an ill-fitting black tailcoat...and his army medals.

    Army   Reality   Black  
  • Nearly all monster stories depend for their success on Jack killing the Giant, Beowulf or St. George slaying the Dragon, Harry Potter triumphing over the basilisk. That is their inner grammar, and the whole shape of the story leads towards it.

  • The really clever people now want to be lawyers or journalists.

    Clever   People   Want  
  • I wanted passionately to be a priest.

    Priests   Wanted  
  • History does not eliminate grievances. It lays them down like landmines.

    History   Doe   Grievance  
  • The fact that logic cannot satisfy us awakens an almost insatiable hunger for the irrational.

  • Hitler suffered acutely from meteorism; perhaps he did not suffer so acutely as those around him, since meteorism is uncontrolled farting, a condition exacerbated by Hitler's strictly vegetarian diet.

  • I think one of the very frightening things about the regime of the National Socialists is that it made people happy.

  • On the rare occasions when I spend a night in Oxford, the keeping of the hours by the clock towers in New College, and Merton, and the great booming of Tom tolling 101 times at 9 pm at Christ Church are inextricably interwoven with memories and regrets and lost joys. The sound almost sends me mad, so intense are the feelings it evokes.

    Memories   Regret   Night  
  • I might be deceiving myself but I do not think that I do have an inordinate fear of death.

  • The death of any man aged 56 is very sad for his widow and family. And no one would deny that Steve Jobs was a brilliant and highly innovative technician, with great business flair and marketing ability.

    Jobs   Men   Marketing  
  • In the 18th century, James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny, and Richard Arkwright pioneered the water-propelled spinning frame which led to the mass production of cotton. This was truly revolutionary. The cotton manufacturers created a whole new class of people - the urban proletariat. The structure of society itself would never be the same.

    Class   People   Water  
  • If you imagine writing 1,000 words a day, which most journalists do, that would be a very long book a year.

    Book   Writing   Years  
    "AN Wilson: 'Everyone writes in Tolstoy's shadow'". Interview with William Skidelsky, www.theguardian.com. April 21, 2012.
  • As Hitler himself later enunciated, it matters not how idiotic the creed, what matters is the firmness with which it is enunciated.

  • It would no doubt be very sentimental to argue - but I would argue it nevertheless - that the peculiar combination of joy and sadness in bell music - both of clock chimes, and of change-ringing - is very typical of England. It is of a piece with the irony in which English people habitually address one another.

    Sadness   People   Joy  
  • In general, Hitler embodied the view of any popular newspaper.

  • I very much dislike the intolerance and moralism of many Christians, and feel more sympathy with Honest Doubters than with them.

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    A. N. Wilson quotes about: Books Church History Writing