Horace Walpole

Literary Birthday – 24 September – Horace Walpole

Horace Walpole was born 24 September 1717 and died 2 March 1797.


  1. In my youth I thought of writing a satire on mankind! but now in my age I think I should write an apology for them.
  2. Don’t play for safety. It’s the most dangerous thing in the world.
  3. The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one’s relationship has a glowing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvellous thing, it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is sort of a Divine accident.
  4. I have often said, and oftener think, that this world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.
  5. Foolish writers and readers are created for each other.
  6. One’s mind suffers only when one is young and while one is ignorant of the world. When one has lived for some time, one learns that the young think too little and the old too much, and one grows careless about both.
  7. History is a romance that is believed; romance, a history that is not believed.
  8. We are largely the playthings of our fears. To one, fear of the dark; to another, of physical pain; to a third, of public ridicule; to a fourth, of poverty; to a fifth, of loneliness … for all of us, our particular creature waits in ambush.
  9. Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he isn’t. A sense of humour was provided to console him for what he is.
  10. The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.

Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, was an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and politician. The youngest son of the prime minister Robert Walpole, his literary reputation comes from his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto, and his Letters, which are of significant social and political interest.



Joshua Reynolds, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 24th September 2015