A. N. Wilson Quotes

Andrew Norman Wilson (born in 1950) is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views. He is an occasional columnist for the Daily Mail and former columnist for the London Evening Standard, and has been an occasional contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, The Spectator and The Observer

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A. N. Wilson


On the rare occasions when I spend a night in Oxford, the keeping of the hours by the clock towers in New College, and Merton, and the great booming of Tom tolling 101 times at 9 pm at Christ Church are inextricably interwoven with memories and regrets and lost joys. The sound almost sends me mad, so intense are the feelings it evokes.

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The Royal Family are not like you and me. They live in houses so big that you can walk round all day and never need to meet your spouse. The Queen and Prince Philip have never shared a bedroom in their lives. They don't even have breakfast together.

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The death of any man aged 56 is very sad for his widow and family. And no one would deny that Steve Jobs was a brilliant and highly innovative technician, with great business flair and marketing ability.

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IQ in general has improved since tests first began. Psychologists think that this is because modern life becomes ever more complicated.

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Since Einstein developed his theory of relativity, and Rutherford and Bohr revolutionised physics, our picture of the world has radically changed.

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Of all liars the most arrogant are biographers: those who would have us believe, having surveyed a few boxes full of letters, diaries, bank statements and photographs, that they can play at the recording angel and tell the whole truth about another human life.

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It would no doubt be very sentimental to argue - but I would argue it nevertheless - that the peculiar combination of joy and sadness in bell music - both of clock chimes, and of change-ringing - is very typical of England. It is of a piece with the irony in which English people habitually address one another.

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It is the woman - nearly always - in spite of all the advances of modern feminism, who still takes responsibility for the bulk of the chores, as well as doing her paid job. This is true even in households where men try to be unselfish and to do their share.

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If only Queen Elizabeth II had the intellectual, political and linguistic skills of Queen Elizabeth I, many people would support giving her some of the powers of an elected president.

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Reading about Queen Victoria has been a passion of mine since, as a child, I came across Laurence Housman's play 'Happy and Glorious,' with its Ernest Shepard illustrations.

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If you read about Mussolini or Stalin or some of these other great monsters of history, they were at it all the time, that they were getting up in the morning very early. They were physically very active. They didn't eat lunch.

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I do not find it easy to articulate thoughts about religion. I remain the sort of person who turns off 'Thought for the Day' when it comes on the radio.

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Like many people in Britain, I have an affectionate respect for the Queen, and am surprised that I should be having such republican thoughts.

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When Christians start thinking about Jesus, things start breaking down, they lose their faith. It's perfectly possible to go to church every Sunday and not ask any questions, just because you like it as a way of life. They fear that if they ask questions they'll lose their Christ, the very linchpin of their religion.

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I believe the collapse of the House of Windsor is tied in with the collapse of the Church of England.

A. N. Wilson


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