Literary Birthday – 25 July – Josephine Tey

Josephine Tey was born 25 July 1896 and died 13 February 1952.

Seven Quotes

  1. The truth of anything at all doesn’t lie in someone’s account of it. It lies in all the small facts of the time. An advertisement in a paper, the sale of a house, the price of a ring.
  2. One of the secrets of a successful life is to know how to be a little profitably crazy.
  3. Weak people can be very stubborn.
  4. Letterwriting is the natural outlet of the ‘odds’. The busy-bodies, the idle, the perverted, the cranks, the feel-it-my-duties… Also the plain depraved. They all write letters. It’s their safe outlet, you see. They can be as interfering, as long-winded, as obscene, as pompous, as one-idea’d, as they like on paper, and no one can kick them for it. So they write. My God, how they write!
  5. A thousand people drowned in floods in China are news: a solitary child drowned in a pond is tragedy.
  6. It’s an odd thing but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you. They don’t want to have their ideas upset. It rouses some vague uneasiness in them, I think, and they resent it. So they reject it and refuse to think about it. If they were merely indifferent it would be natural and understandable. But it is much stronger than that, much more positive. They are annoyed. Very odd, isn’t it.
  7. If you think about the unthinkable long enough it becomes quite reasonable.

Josephine Tey was a pseudonym used by Elizabeth MacKintosh, a Scottish author best known for her mystery novels. She wrote the Inspector Alan Grant series starting with The Man In The Queue. She also wrote plays as Gordon Daviot.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 24th July 2017