Quotations The Best Henry James Quotes  

72 votes 34 voters 7.4k views 42 items

List Rules Must be a famous or well-known quote. If a quote is cut off you can hover over the text to see the full quote.

A list of the best Henry James quotes. This list is arranged by which famous Henry James quotes have received the most votes, so only the greatest Henry James quotes are at the top of the list. All the most popular quotes from Henry James should be listed here, but if any were missed you can add more at the end of the list. This list includes notable Henry James quotes on various subjects, many of which are inspirational and thought provoking.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best Henry James quotes?" and "What is the most famous Henry James quote?"

You can see what subjects these historic Henry James quotes fall under displayed to the right of the quote. Be sure to vote so your favorite Henry James saying won't fall to the bottom of the list.
list ordered by

13 0
Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. Henry James

6 0
Live all you can; it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had? Henry James

5 0
Summer afternoon -- summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. Henry James

4 0
It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature. Henry James

4 1
It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process. Henry James

3 0
Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue. Henry James

3 0
The face of nature and civilization in this our country is to a certain point a very sufficient literary field. But it will yield its secrets only to a really grasping imagination. To write well and worthily of American things one need even more than elsewhere to be a master. Henry James

3 0
To criticize is to appreciate, to appropriate, to take intellectual possession, to establish in fine a relation with the criticized thing and to make it one's own. Henry James

3 0
Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself. Henry James

3 1
I hate American simplicity. I glory in the piling up of complications of every sort. If I could pronounce the name James in any different or more elaborate way I should be in favor of doing it. Henry James

2 0
No sovereign, no court, no personal loyalty, no aristocracy, no church, no clergy, no army, no diplomatic service, no country gentlemen, no palaces, no castles, nor manors, nor old country-houses, nor parsonages, nor thatched cottages nor ivied ruins; no cathedrals, nor abbeys, nor little Norman churches; no great Universities nor public schools -- no Oxford, nor Eton, nor Harrow; no literature, no novels, no museums, no pictures, no political society, no sporting class -- no Epsom nor Ascot! Some such list as that might be drawn up of the absent things in American life. Henry James

2 1
To read between the lines was easier than to follow the text. Henry James

1 0
He is outside of everything, and alien everywhere. He is an aesthetic solitary. His beautiful, light imagination is the wing that on the autumn evening just brushes the dusky window. Henry James

1 0
Cats and monkeys; monkeys and cats; all human life is there. Henry James

1 0
Though there are some disagreeable things in Venice there is nothing so disagreeable as the visitors. Henry James

1 0
The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting. Henry James

1 0
In museums and palaces we are alternate radicals and conservatives. Henry James

1 0
Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. Henry James

1 0
It is, I think, an indisputable fact that Americans are, as Americans, the most self-conscious people in the world, and the most addicted to the belief that the other nations of the earth are in a conspiracy to under value them. Henry James

1 0
If I were to live my life over again, I would be an American. I would steep myself in America, I would know no other land. Henry James

1 0
Deep experience is never peaceful. Henry James

1 0
The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life. Henry James

1 0
Ideas are, in truth, force. Henry James

1 1
Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact. Henry James

1 1
I think patriotism is like charity -- it begins at home. Henry James

1 1
What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character? Henry James

0 0
A man who pretends to understand women is ad manners. For him to really to understand them is bad morals. Henry James

0 0
People talk about the conscience, but it seems to me one must just bring it up to a certain point and leave it there. You can let your conscience alone if you're nice to the second housemaid. Henry James

0 0
To treat a big subject in the intensely summarized fashion demanded by an evening's traffic of the stage when the evening, freely clipped at each end, is reduced to two hours and a half, is a feat of which the difficulty looms large. Henry James

0 0
I hold any writer sufficiently justified who is himself in love with his theme. Henry James

0 0
Of course you're always at liberty to judge the critic. Judge people as critics, however, and you'll condemn them all! Henry James

0 0
Experience was to be taken as showing that one might get a five-pound note as one got a light for a cigarette; but one had to check the friendly impulse to ask for it in the same way. Henry James

0 0
The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implications of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern, the condition of feeling life in general so completely that you are well on your way to knowing any particular corner of it --this cluster of gifts may almost be said to constitute experience. Henry James

0 0
I am blackly bored when they are at large and at work; but somehow I am still more blackly bored when they are shut up in Holloway and we are deprived of them. Henry James

0 0
The time-honored bread-sauce of the happy ending. Henry James

0 0
The terrible fluidity of self-revelation. Henry James

0 0
The superiority of one man's opinion over another's is never so great as when the opinion is about a woman. Henry James

0 0
The fatal futility of Fact. Henry James

0 0
Money's a horrid thing to follow, but a charming thing to meet. Henry James

0 0
She had an unequalled gift... of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities. Henry James

0 0
In art economy is always beauty. Henry James

0 1
One might enumerate the items of high civilization, as it exists in other countries, which are absent from the texture of American life, until it should become a wonder to know what was left. Henry James