Literary Birthday – 29 May – T. H. White

T. H. White was born 29 May 1906 and died 17 January 1964.


  1. The bravest people are the ones who don’t mind looking like cowards.
  2. The destiny of man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees.
  3. We cannot build the future by avenging the past.
  4. I have suddenly discovered that the central theme of Morte d’Arthur is to find an antidote to war.
  5. Is there anything more terrible than perpetual motion, than doing and doing and doing, without a reason, without a consciousness, without a change, without an end?
  6. The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else do it wrong without comment.
  7. Only fools want to be great.
  8. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.
  9. Those who lived by the sword were forced to die by it.
  10. We find that at present the human race is divided politically into one wise man, nine knaves, and ninety fools out of every hundred. That is, by an optimistic observer. The nine knaves assemble themselves under the banner of the most knavish among them, and become politicians; the wise man stands out, because he knows himself to be hopelessly out-numbered, and devotes himself to poetry, mathematics or philosophy; while the ninety fools plod off behind the banners of the nine villains, according to fancy, into the labyrinths of chicanery, malice and warfare.
  11. Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance.
  12. If people reach perfection they vanish, you know.

T. H. White (Terence Hanbury ‘Tim’ White) was an English author. He is known his Arthurian series, The Once and Future King, which includes the novels The Sword in the Stone, The Queen of Air and Darkness, The Ill-Made Knight, and The Candle in the Wind.

Source for image

Burns Library, Boston College., CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 28th May 2017