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2019

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Jan 2019

2nd January

Insofar as the feminism of the 1970s played on fear, exalting the independence and interdependence of women, it was playing with fire. We cried "Sisterhood is powerful!"-- and they believed us. Terrified misogynists of both sexes were howling that the house was burning down before most feminists found out where the matches were.

Ursula K Le Guin, 'A Band of Brothers, a Stream of Sisters' (November 2010), in No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters (2017)

9th January

A levelling and universalizing language may deprive us of our best chances to explain varying patterns in the historical record, and -- as the greatest single aim of a historian -- to elicit why particular changes happened in particular changes at particular times.

Ronald Hutton, The Witch: A History of Fear, from Ancient Times to the Present (2017)

16th January

I feel more drawn towards them than I should ever have believed possible. Am sorry to note that abuse and condemnation of a common acquaintance often constitutes very strong bond of union between otherwise uncongenial spirits.

EM Delafield, The Provincial Lady in Wartime (1940)

23rd January

I don't write plays with the idea of giving some great thought to the world, and that isn't just coy modesty....If I wanted to write a play with a message, God forbid, it would undoubtedly be a comedy.

Noel Coward, letter to unnamed correspondent, ?c. 1959, in The Letters of Noel Coward edited by Barry Day (2007)

30th January

The joy, once guaranteed simply by opening a cover, is now more elusive. As an adult, your tastes (and/or prejudices) are more developed and particular, your time is more precious and your critical faculties are harder to switch off. As an adult, worries are greater and it takes a more powerful page to be able to banish them for the duration. Perhaps you appreciate it all the more when it comes, but I miss the days of effortless immersion, and the glorious certainty of pleasure.

Lucy Mangan, Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading (2018)

Feb 2019

6th February

Neither woman was in his book, but because of them he knew more about the women in his book than he had when he started writing about them.

Noel Streatfeild, Grass in Piccadilly (1947)

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