Quotations From BEATRICE POTTER WEBB

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  • 1.
    Work is the best of narcotics, providing the patient be strong enough to take it.... I ... dread idleness as if it were Hell.
    Beatrice Potter Webb (1858-1943), British author and socialist. As quoted in Beatrice Webb, ch. 10, by Carole Seymour-Jones (1992). Written in her diary on March 8, 1885, upon throwing herself into charitable work after a romance ended.

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  • 2.
    Religion is love; in no case is it logic.
    Beatrice Potter Webb (1858-1943), British socialist, author. My Apprenticeship, introduction (1926).

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  • 3.
    I shall have the veil withdrawn and be allowed to gaze unblinded on the narrow limits of my own possibilities.
    Beatrice Potter Webb (1858-1943), British author and socialist. As quoted in Beatrice Webb, ch. 6, by Carole Seymour-Jones (1992). Written in her diary on April 24, 1883. A wealthy, protected young woman who longed for a good education, Webb was expressing hope for her future.
  • 4.
    Renunciation: that is the great fact we all, individuals and classes, have to learn. In trying to avoid it we bring misery to ourselves and others.
    Beatrice Potter Webb (1858-1943), British author and socialist. As quoted in Beatrice Webb, ch. 10, by Carole Seymour-Jones (1992). Written in her diary on February 1, 1885, upon determining to forsake romance and the affluent high society into which she had been born for service to society.
  • 5.
    At present I feel like a caged animal, bound up by the luxury, comfort and respectability of my position. I can't get the training that I want without neglecting my duty.
    Beatrice Potter Webb (1858-1943), British author and socialist. As quoted in Beatrice Webb, ch. 6, by Carole Seymour-Jones (1992). From an 1883 diary entry written when Webb was twenty-five. The daughter of a wealthy, socially prominent family, she was living at home and confining her study to the morning hours so that her days could be devoted to her family and obligatory social functions. Later, she would marry beneath her station and, with her husband Sidney Webb, become a socialist theoretician and reformer.

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