Literary Birthday – 21 November – Arthur Quiller-Couch


Arthur Quiller-Couch was born 21 November 1863 and died 12 May 1944

Six Quotes

  1. Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it – whole-heartedly – and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.
  2. The more clearly you write, the more easily and surely you will be understood.
  3. We make our discoveries through our mistakes: we watch one another’s success: and where there is freedom to experiment there is hope to improve.
  4. If your language is confused, your intellect, if not your whole character, will almost certainly correspond.
  5. By all means, let us study the great writers of the past for their own sakes, but let us study them for our guidance: that we, in our turn, having (it is to be hoped) something to say in our span of time, say it worthily, not dwindling out the large utterance of Shakespeare or of Burke.
  6. Just go on reading, as well as you can, and be sure that when the children get the thrill of the story, for which you wait, they will be asking more questions, and pertinent ones, than you are able to answer.

Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch was an English writer. He published using the pseudonym Q.  He is remembered mainly for the monumental publication The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900 (later extended to 1918) and for his literary criticism.

 by Amanda Patterson