Ever wondered where the phrase 'a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do' orginated? Or been puzzled by the fact that apparently Greta Garbo didn't really want to be alone and Caesar's dying words weren't 'Et tu, Brute?' Well, Brewer's Famous Quotations is here to illuminate you - authoritative and entertaining by turns, it's the perfect book for browsers and the ultimate source of information on a vast range of problematic quotations, giving full details of date and source, as well as offering detailed insights into a host of misremembered or misattributed quotations.
HENRY MORTON STANLEY: 'Dr Livingstone, I presume?' - The most famous greeting was put by Stanley to the Scottish explorer and missionary Dr David Livingstone at Ujiji, Lake Tanganiyka, on 10 November 1871 (though this date has been questioned). Stanley had been sent by the New York Herald to look for Livingstone who was missing on a journey in central Africa. In How I Found Livingstone (1872), Stanley described the moment: 'I would have run to him, only I was a coward in the presence of such a mob - would have embraced him, only, he being an Englishman, I did not know how he would receive me; so I did what cowardice and false pride suggested was the best thing - walked deliberately to him, took off my hat and said: 'Dr Livingstone, I presume?' 'YES,' said he, with a kind smile, lifting his cap slightly.'
A fascinating guide to thousands of quotations about which there is more to be said.
* A brand-new and radically expanded edition of Nigel Rees's essential and unique annotated companion to the complex world of quotations.
* The only quotations dictionary that tells the story behind the quotations, as well as providing full details of date and source.
* Informative and amusing: a winning blend of carefully researched fact and entertaining anecdote.
* Includes an index of keywords.
Brewer's now has a stable-mate. Something I hope will expand in the next few years to encompass all the encyclopaedic knowledge that needs to be catalogued into a single comprehensive volume. Brewer managed that under his famous 'Phrase and Fable', now Rees has attempted with 'Famous Quotations'.
Brewer's, under Nigel Rees' direction, has taken on the challenge of arranging a volume of well researched quotable quotes into one rather large volume. The task can not have been an easy one with a multitude of misquotes prevalent in the world, yet Rees has tackled this head-on and succeeded. Each quote is accompanied by a short history of that quote and who may have made that quote originally (if applicable).
Famous Quotations is listed by the 'quotor', the list of phrases made by this person, but is also referenced under a 'key word' system, though it does take some thinking about as to what the key word is. It is a masterful attempt, and I doubt anything could be achieved better without resorting to a mammoth database.
Highly readable, excellently written and referenced and sure to be a classic volume that will updated with reassuring regularity.
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