1. “Novel writing wrecks homes.”
— C. S. Forester
2. “I must be like the princess who felt the pea through seven mattresses; each book is a pea.”
3. “A man who writes for a living does not have to go anywhere in particular, and he could rarely afford to if he wanted.”
4. “The lucky man is he who knows how much to leave to chance.”
5. “I thank God daily for the good fortune of my birth, for I am certain I would have made a miserable peasant.”
6. “I’d rather be in trouble for having done something than for not having done anything.”
7. “When a man who is drinking neat gin starts talking about his mother he is past all argument.”
8. “They were setting off on an adventure, and Hornblower was only too conscious that it was his own fault.”
9. “The work is with me when I wake up in the morning; it is with me while I eat my breakfast in bed and run through the newspaper, while I shave and bathe and dress.”
10. “When I die there may be a paragraph or two in the newspapers. My name will linger in the British Museum Reading Room catalogue for a space at the head of a long list of books for which no one will ever ask.”
11. “July 4th, 1776,” mused Keene, reading Hornblower’s date of birth to himself.”
12. “Perhaps that suspicion of fraud enhances the flavor.”
13. “A whim, a passing mood, readily induces the novelist to move hearth and home elsewhere. He can always plead work as an excuse to get him out of the clutches of bothersome hosts.”
14. “Bush could never understand Hornblower’s disciplinary methods. He had been positively horrified when he had heard his captain’s public admission that he too had baths under the washdeck pump – it seemed madness for a captain to allow his men to guess that they were of the same flesh as his.”
15. “I have heard of novels started in the middle, at the end, written in patches to be joined together later, but I have never felt the slightest desire to do this.”
16. “There is no other way of writing a novel than to begin at the beginning at to continue to the end.”
17. “The stinks of the true believers have to be smelt to be believed.”
18. “I formed a resolution to never write a word I did not want to write; to think only of my own tastes and ideals, without a thought of those of editors or publishers.”
19. “Everything was in stark and dreadful contrast with the trivial crises and counterfeit emotions of Hollywood, and I returned to England deeply moved and emotionally worn out.”
20. “Harm began to come to Hornblower from that day forth, despite his obedience to orders and diligent study of his duties, and it stemmed from the arrival in the midshipmen’s berth of John Simpson as senior warrant officer.”
21. “Though there are very serious disadvantages about being a true believer. Who would want four wives at any time, especially when one pays for the doubtful privilege by abstaining from wine?”
22. “Novel writing is far and away the most exhausting work I know.”
23. “His officers saw little of him, and did not love what they saw.”
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