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Alice James

  • American writer
  • Born August 7, 1848
  • Died March 6, 1892

Alice James (August 7, 1848 – March 6, 1892) was an American diarist, sister of novelist Henry James and philosopher and psychologist William James. Her relationship with William was unusually close, and she seems to have been badly affected by his marriage. James suffered lifelong health problems, that were generally dismissed as hysteria, in the style of the day. She is best known for her published diaries.


How sick one gets of being 'good', how much I should respect myself if I could burst out and make everyone wretched for twenty-four hours; embody selfishness.




I make it a rule always to believe compliments implicitly for five minutes, and to simmer gently for twenty more.




The difficulty about all this dying, is that you can't tell a fellow anything about it, so where does the fun come in?




You must remember that a woman, by nature, needs much less to feed upon than a man, a few emotions and she is satisfied.




What a sense of superiority it gives one to escape reading some book which everyone else is reading.




I suppose one has a greater sense of intellectual degradation after an interview with a doctor than from any human experience.




I wonder whether if I had an education I should have been more or less a fool that I am.




One has a greater sense of degradation after an interview with a doctor than from any human experience.




The success or failure of a life, as far as posterity goes, seems to lie in the more or less luck of seizing the right moment of escape.




Physical pain however great ends in itself and falls away like dry husks from the mind, whilst moral discords and nervous horrors sear the soul.




Though I have no productive worth, I have a certain value as an indestructible quantity.



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