Inspirational quotes—we just can’t seem to get enough of them, can we? They’re everywhere from quirky mugs and trendy shirts to Tumblr and Facebook.
It’s precisely for that reason that they risk coming off as simply trite—a dime a dozen and no more special than something you and you might whip up off the top of your head.
So why do we keep searching for and coming back to so many famous inspirational quotes? In an odd way, their ubiquitous nature helps ensure them against obsolesce.
Even if we do have an over-abundance of hack, hipster-worthy little somethings that really amount to nothing, just makes the few truly inspirational quotes seem all the more pertinent by comparison.
Now, one of the great things about writing in general and quotes in particular is that a great example of either can come from anyone, anywhere, anytime. Music requires years of study, and painting and other forms of art can be prohibitively expensive.
By contrast, all you really need to be a great writer (in theory, anyway) is a pencil, a piece of paper, a great idea and an even greater willingness to urge yourself ever onward.
That doesn’t mean that writing isn’t hard work, or that it isn’t a craft which often requires an intense amount of training in order to produce something even remotely adequate.
Still, there’s something to be said for the fact that so many of our greatest authors—Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, and even Shakespeare himself—never even so much as attended college, let an self-styled ‘creative writing’ class.
They read, thought, loved and lived—and THAT was enough to help them write some of the most stirring works of all-time.
Here, are some other famous historical figures and their inspirational quotes lifted from life