51+ Henry James Quotes And Sayings For Inspiration

Henry James was born in 1843 and died in 1916. He wrote novels such as The Wings of the Dove (1902), Portrait of a Lady (1881) and The Golden Bowl (1904).

James was also a prolific writer of short stories, essays, travelogues, biographies, and literary criticism. This collection of quotes from his writings gives us insight into his life and work.

Here are 51+ inspiring quotes from Henry James.

One is oneself a fine consequence.

– Henry James

Henry James Quotes

1. “I call people rich when they’re able to meet the requirements of their imagination.” – Henry James

2. “And remember this, that if you’ve been hated, you’ve also been loved.” – Henry James

3. “Live all you can: it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t matter what you do in particular, so long as you have had your life. If you haven’t had that, what have you had?” – Henry James

4. “Try to be one of those on whom nothing is lost.” – Henry James

5. “It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry James

6. “I intend to judge things for myself; to judge wrongly, I think, is more honorable than not to judge at all.” – Henry James

7. “Things are always different than what they might be…If you wait for them to change, you will never do anything.” – Henry James

8. “Obstacles are those frightening things you see when you take you eyes off your goal.” – Henry James

9. “Never say you know the last word about any human heart.” – Henry James

10. “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

11. “Be not afraid of life believe that life is worth living and your belief will create the fact.” – Henry James

12. “Don’t underestimate the value of irony—it is extremely valuable.” – Henry James

13. “Don’t mind anything any one tells you about any one else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself.” – Henry James

14. “One can’t judge till one’s forty; before that we’re too eager, too hard, too cruel, and in addition much too ignorant.” – Henry James

15. “It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance, and I know of no substitute for the force and beauty of it’s process.” – Henry James

16.Life is a predicament which precedes death.” – Henry James

17. “To take what there is in life and use it, without waiting forever in vain for the preconceived, to dig deep into the actual and get something out of that; this, doubtless, is the right way to live.” – Henry James

18. “You must save what you can of your life; you musn’t lose it all simply because you’ve lost a part.” – Henry James

19. “When I am wicked I am in high spirits.” – Henry James

20. “If one is strong, one loves the more strongly.” – Henry James

21. “Feel, feel, I say – feel for all you’re worth, and even if it half kills you, for that is the only way to live.” – Henry James

22. “Deep experience is never peaceful.” – Henry James

23. “Excellence does not require perfection.” – Henry James

24. “Love has nothing to do with good reasons.” – Henry James

25. “There are two kinds of taste in the appreciation of imaginative literature: the taste for emotions of surprise and the taste for emotions of recognition.” – Henry James

26. “If you have work to do, don’t wait to feel like it; set to work and you will feel like it.” – Henry James

27. “Cats and monkeys – monkeys and cats – all human life is there!” – Henry James

28. “There’s no more usual basis of union than mutual misunderstanding.” – Henry James

29. “Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to.” – Henry James

30. “It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature.” – Henry James

31. “It’s never permitted to be surprised at the aberrations of born fools.” – Henry James

32. “Live as you like best, and your character will take care of itself. Most things are good for you; the exceptions are very rare.” – Henry James

33. “Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James

34. “It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.” – Henry James

35. “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

36. “Money’s a horrid thing to follow, but a charming thing to meet.” – Henry James

37. “The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life.” – Henry James

38. “We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” – Henry James

39.You are good for nothing unless you are clever.” – Henry James

40. “Everything had something behind it: life was like a long corridor with rows of closed doors.” – Henry James

41. “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

42. “Until you try, you don’t know what you can’t do.” – Henry James

43. “Don’t try so much to form your character – it’s like trying to pull open a tight, tender young rose. Live as you like best and your character will take care of itself.” – Henry James

44. “True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one’s self; but the point is not only to get out – you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand.” – Henry James

45. “To believe in a child is to believe in the Future.” – Henry James

46. “Innocent and infinite are the pleasures of observation.” – Henry James

47. “A tradition is kept alive only by something being added to it.” – Henry James

48. “And remember this, that if you’ve been hated, you’ve also been loved.” – Henry James

49. “The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implications of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern . . . this cluster of gifts may almost be said to constitute experience.” – Henry James

50. “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

51. “I adore adverbs; they are the only qualifications I really much respect.” – Henry James

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