The English can laugh and at the same time strike you down, without the least compunction. It is the secret of their success as a nation.
Page 25. (The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983))
He had a fear of the dead, and of all inanimate things, rising up around himto claim him; it isthe fearof thepre- eminently solitary child and solitary man.Peter Ackroyd
The smell of the library was always the same – the musty odour of old clothes mixed with the keener scent of unwashed bodies, creating what the chief librarian had once described as "the steam of the social soup".Peter Ackroyd
No poet is ever completely lost. He has the secret of his childhood safe with him, like some secret cave in which he can kneel. And, when we read his poetry, we can join him there.Peter Ackroyd
He had the satisfied countenance of a man who has never succeeded in boring himself.Peter Ackroyd
Only those with great ambitions know what great fears drive them forward.Peter Ackroyd
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