30 Profoundly Moving Henry James Quotes

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We didn't know words could mean so much until now.

Henry James Quotes You Needed To Hear

Henry James was an American author who was known for his powerful quotes. Many of his best lines came from his most impressive novels. James' writings became so well-liked, that they were often adapted into popular films.

James didn't just write—his words came from his soul. We've found some of the most passionate quotes the author left behind. He touches on all spectrums of the human experience. These moving quotes will speak to you about love, money, and everything in between.

These timeless quotes by Henry James will have you thinking just a little deeper today. Open your mind when you read these inspiring words. You were brought here for a reason, so let them connect with you on a new level.

Deep Quotes From Henry James

  • "Cats and monkeys; monkeys and cats; all human life is there."

  • "There are two kinds of taste, the taste for emotions of surprise and the taste for emotions of recognition."

  • "I think I don't regret a single 'excess' of my responsive youth - I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn't embrace."

  • "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."

  • "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."

  • "Deep experience is never peaceful."

  • "The only success worth one's powder was success in the line of one's idiosyncrasy... what was talent but the art of being completely whatever one happened to be?"

  • "I've always been interested in people, but I've never liked them."

  • "To kill a human being is, after all, the least injury you can do him."

  • "Young men of this class never do anything for themselves that they can get other people to do for them, and it is the infatuation, the devotion, the superstition of others that keeps them going. These others in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred are women."

Henry James Quotes That Are Thoughtful

  • "Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."

  • "Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself."

  • "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."

  • "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."

  • "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."

  • "The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life."

  • "Money's a horrid thing to follow, but a charming thing to meet."

  • "In museums and palaces we are alternate radicals and conservatives."

  • "The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have."

  • "A man who pretends to understand women is bad manners. For him to really to understand them is bad morals."

Insightful Henry James Quotes

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

  • "I adore adverbs; they are the only qualifications I really much respect."

  • "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."

  • "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."

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

  • "I hold any writer sufficiently justified who is himself in love with his theme."

  • "Life is a predicament which precedes death."

  • "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."

  • "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."

  • "An Englishman's never so natural as when he's holding his tongue."

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