Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

(1844_1911 / Andover, Massachusetts)

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Quotes

  • ''Out of my discomforts, which were small enough, grew one thing for which I have all my life been grateful—the formation of fixed habits of work.''
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life, ch. 11 (1897).
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  • ''A literary woman's best critic is her husband ...''
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life, ch. 11 (1897). Phelps's husband, Herbert D. Ward, was, like her, a popular author.
  • ''It is in the comprehension of the physically disabled, or disordered ... that we are behind our age.... sympathy as a fine art is backward in the growth of progress ...''
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life, ch. 11 (1897).
  • ''Truth, like climate, is common property ...''
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life, ch. 12 (1897).
  • ''... to work, to work hard, to see work steadily, and see it whole, was the way to be reputable. I think I always respected a good blacksmith more than a lady of leisure.''
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life, ch. 3 (1897).
  • ''The literary artist will ... portray what he knows, and little else. Imagination is built upon knowledge, and his dreams will rest upon his facts. He is worth to the world just about what he has learned from it, and no more.''
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life, ch. 11 (1897).
  • ''It is impossible to forget the sense of dignity which marks the hour when one becomes a wage-earner.... I felt that I had suddenly acquired value—to myself, to my family, and to the world.''
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life, ch. 1 (1897). On receiving her first payment for writing, She was very young and was paid $2.50 for a "pious little contribution" to "some extremely orthodox young people's periodical."
  • ''... while I may paint in the tints or outlines of rocks and beaches, dawns and harbor, fleet and wharf, I never draw portraits of my neighbors or of my friends.''
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life, ch. 12 (1897). On the sources of her fiction; she lived in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
  • ''A good short story is a work of art which daunts us in proportion to its brevity.... No inspiration is too noble for it; no amount of hard work is too severe for it.''
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life, ch. 12 (1897).
  • ''I can remember no time when I did not understand that my mother must write books because people would have and read them; but I cannot remember one hour in which her children needed her and did not find her.''
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), U.S. novelist and short story writer. Chapters from a Life, ch. 1 (1897). Of her mother, a successful novelist long "before women had careers and public sympathy in them." She had died in childbirth when Elizabeth was only eight years old.

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