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NOVELS
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[ Also see Books Fiction Literature Reading Romance Story Telling Writing ]

We must have books for recreation and entertainment, as well as books for instruction and for business; the former are agreeable, the latter useful, and the human mind requires both. The cannon law and the codes of Justinian shall have due honor, and reign at the universities; but Homer and Virgil need not therefore be banished. We will cultivate the olive and the vine, but without eradicating the myrtle and the rose.
      - Honore de Balzac

Weak minds may be injured by novel-reading; but sensible people find both amusement and instruction therein.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

A fiction which is designed to inculcate an object wholly alien to the imagination sins against the first law of art; and if a writer of fiction narrow his scope to particulars so positive as polemical controversy in matters ecclesiastical, political or moral, his work may or may not be an able treatise, but it must be a very poor novel.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

A novel is never anything but a philosophy put into images.
      - Albert Camus

We gild our medicines with sweets; why not clothe truth and morals in peasant garments as well?
      - Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort

Novels may teach us as wholesome a moral as the pulpit. There are "sermons in stones," in healthy books, and "good in everything."
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Books of entertainment first led Adam Clarke to believe in a spiritual world.
      - George William Curtis

Do not fear to put novels into the hands of young people as an occasional holiday experiment, but above all, good poetry in all kinds,--epic, tragedy, lyric. If we can touch the imagination, we serve them; they will never forget it.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Novels teach the youthful mind to sigh after happiness that never existed.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

I regard this novel as a work without redeeming social value, unless it can be recycled as a cardboard box.
      - Ellen Goodman

The new novel is sought more eagerly, and devoured more greedily, the New Testament.
      - Thomas Guthrie (1)

Thackeray and Balzac will make it possible for our descendants to live over again the England and France of to-day. Seen in this light, the novelist has a higher office than merely and amuse his contemporaries.
      - Philip Gilbert Hamerton

Only in a novel are all things given full play.
      - David Herbert Lawrence

At present, the novels which we owe to English ladies form no small part of the literary glory of our country. No class of works is more honorably distinguished for fine observation, by grace, by delicate wit, by pure moral feeling.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay

Sir Anthony Absolute, two or years before Evelina appeared, spoke the sense of the great body of sober fathers and husbands when he pronounced the circulating library an evergreen tree of diabolical knowledge.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay

Writers of novels and romances in general bring a double loss on their readers,--they rob them both of their time and money; representing men, manners and things that never have been, nor are likely to be: either confounding or perverting history and truth, inflating the mind, or committing violence upon the understanding.
      - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

The habitual indulgence in such reading is a silent, mining mischief.
      - Hannah More

Fiction is a potent agent for good--in the hands of the good.
      - Madame Suzanne Curchod Necker

Those who are too idle to read, save for the purpose of amusement, may in these works acquire some acquaintance with history, which, however inaccurate, is better than none.
      - Sir Walter Scott

Lessons of wisdom have never such power over us as when they are wrought into the heart through the groundwork of a story.
      - Laurence Sterne

A little grain of the romance is no ill ingredient to preserve and exalt the dignity of human nature, without which it is apt to degenerate into everything that is sordid, vicious and low.
      - Jonathan Swift

I suppose as long as novels last, and authors aim at interesting their public, there must always be in the story a virtuous and gallant hero; a wicked monster, his opposite; and a pretty girl, who finds a champion. Bravery and virtue conquer beauty; and vice, after seeming to triumph through a certain number of pages, is sure to be discomfited in the last volume, when justice overtakes him, and honest folks come by their own.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

Novels are sweets. All people with healthy literary appetites love them: almost all women; a vast number of clever, hard-headed men. Judges, bishops, chancellors, mathematicians, are notorious novel readers, as well as young boys and girls, and their kind, tender mothers.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

Out of the fictitious book I get the expression of the life, of the times, of the manners, of the merriment, of the dress, the pleasure, the laughter, the ridicules of society. The old times live again. Can the heaviest historian do more for me?
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

Legitimately produced, and truly inspired, fiction interprets humanity, informs the understanding, and quickens the affections. It reflects ourselves, warns us against prevailing social follies, adds rich specimens to our cabinets of character, dramatizes life for the unimaginative, daguerreotypes it for the unobservant, multiplies experience for the isolated or inactive, and cheers age, retirement and invalidism with an available and harmless solace.
      - Henry Theodore Tuckerman


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