Literary Birthday – 23 June – Winifred Holtby

Winifred Holtby was born 23 June 1898, and died 17 September 1935.

Seven Quotes

  1. This alone is to be feared – the closed mind, the sleeping imagination, the death of the spirit. The death of the body is to that, I think, a little thing.
  2. We’re so busy resigning ourselves to the inevitable that we don’t even ask if it is inevitable.
  3. We’ve got to have courage, to take our future into our hands. If the law is oppressive, we must change the law. If tradition is obstructive, we must break tradition. If the system is unjust, we must reform the system.
  4. Question everyone in authority, and see that you get sensible answers to your questions… questioning does not mean the end of loving, and loving does not mean the abnegation of intelligence. Vow as much love to your country as you like… but, I implore you, do not forget to question.
  5. I am a feminist because I dislike everything that feminism implies. I desire an end to the whole business, the demands for equality, the suggestion of sex warfare, the very name feminist. I want to be about the work in which my real interests like, the writing of novels and so forth. But while inequality exists, while injustice is done and opportunity denied to the great majority of women, I shall have to be a feminist.
  6. The things that one most wants to do are the things that are probably most worth doing.
  7. I took my courage and curiosity in both hands and chose the writer whose art seemed most of all removed from anything I could ever attempt, and whose experience was most alien to my own… . I found it the most enthralling adventure–to enter, even at second-hand, that world of purely aesthetic and intellectual interests, was to me as strange an exploration as it would have been for Virginia Woolf to sit beside my mother’s pie and hear my uncles talk fat-stock prices and cub-hunting. I felt that I was learning and learning with every fibre of such brain as I have.

Winifred Holtby was an English novelist and journalist, best known for her novel South Riding, and her biography, Virginia Woolf: A Critical Memoir.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 23rd June 2014