Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Nancy Astor, fully Lady Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor

American-born Englishwoman, First woman to sit as a Member of Parliament int he British House of Commons

"Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer - into selflessness which links us with all humanity."

"A fool without fear is sometimes wiser than an angel with fear."

"The most practical thing in the world is common sense and common humanity."

"Truth always originates in a minority of one, and every custom begins as a broken precedent."

"I married beneath me. All women do."

"The penalty for success is to be bored by the people who used to snub you."

"The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything... or nothing."

"I used to dread getting older because I thought I would not be able to do all the things I wanted to do, but now that I am older I find that I don't want to do them."

"One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time."

"The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds."

"The only thing I like about rich people is their money."

"I refuse to admit that I am more than fifty-two, even if that does make my sons illegitimate."

"I would be a socialist if I thought it would work."

"I am neither a Communist or a Fascist ... I loathe all Dictatorships whether of the Russian or the German type -- They are all equally cruel."

"Am I dying, or is this my birthday?"

"I'm an extinct volcano."

"In passing, also, I would like to say that the first time Adam had a chance he laid the blame on a woman."

"It is no use blaming the men -- we made them what they are -- and now it is up to us to try and make ourselves -- the makers of men -- a little more responsible."

"I can imagine nothing worse than a man-governed world -- except a woman-governed world."

"Jakie, is it my birthday or am I dying? (on her deathbed. Her son's response: "A bit of both, Mum.")"

"If you want a party hack, don't elect me."

"My vigor, vitality and cheek repel me -- I am the kind of woman I would run from."

"NANCY ASTOR: Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison. CHURCHILL: If I were your husband I would take it."

"No one sex can govern alone. I believe that one of the reasons why civilization has failed so lamentably is that it had one-sided government."

"Pioneers may be picturesque figures, but they are often rather lonely ones."

"Take a close-up of a woman past sixty! You might as well use a picture of a relief map of Ireland!"

"The first time Adam had a chance, he laid the blame on women."

"We are not asking for superiority for we have always had that; all we ask is equality."

"We women talk too much, but even then we don't tell half what we know."

"What would we say if men changed the length of their trousers every year?"

"Why don't you come sober, Prime Minister? [Answer she gave Churchill when he asked what disguise he should wear to a masquerade ball]"

"Why, I don't even know the difference between a king and a knave. (on being invited to play cards with King Edward VII)"

"Women have got to make the world safe for men since men have made it so darned unsafe for women."

"Years ago, I thought old age would be dreadful because I should not be able to do things I would want to do. Now I find there is nothing I want to do after all."