25+ Best Anatole France Quotes From The Bestselling French Poet

Moumita Dutta
Dec 12, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Jan 25, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Anatole France was a French poet, journalist, and novelist with several best-sellers.

Jacques-Anatole-Francois Thibault went by the pseudoynm 'Anatole France'.

Anatole France was an acclaimed French novelist, poet, and journalist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1921. His poems and articles began getting published in 1869 when he was 25 years old.

Anatole France spent the majority of his childhood around books, and his experience allowed him to diversify his literary pursuits. His writings can be categorized in various genres, ranging from satirical, dystopian, and ironic, to religious and romantic.

His literary prowess and acumen garnered him the Nobel Prize and established him as a leader in the literary field.

If you're looking for some great Anatole France quotes to feast upon, then this list is for you.

It has a bunch of quotes that will interest you such as Anatole France quotes about animals, Anatole France quotes about life, Penguin Island quotes, Anatole France quotes about law, and Anatole France quotes about love.

Many of the French quotes about love and life and French inspirational phrases have been translated into English to make this article easy to read for English-speaking readers.

If you'd like to read quotes from other literary masters, you should check out [T.S. Eliot Quotes] and William Faulkner Quotes.

Best Anatole France Quotes

An image showing old books, quill pen and vintage ink-well of an Author/Poet.

People who are looking for quotes from novelist Anatole France should check out this list of his best quotes.

1. "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."

- Reception speech, Seance De L'Académie Francaise, 24 December 1896.

2. "To die for an idea is to place a very high price upon conjecture."

- 'Revolt of the Angels', 1914.

3. "All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."

- Anatole France.

4. "Our passions are ourselves."

-'The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard', 1881.

5. "If it were absolutely necessary to choose, I would rather be guilty of an immoral act than of a cruel one."

- 'The Red Lily', 1894.

6. "The first virtue of all really great men is that they are sincere. They eradicate hyprocrisy from their hearts."

- 'Anatole France and His Circle; Being His Table Talk'.

7. "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread."

- 'The Red Lily', Chapter 7, 1894.

8. "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labour by taking up another."

- 'The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard', Part 2, Chapter 4, 1881.

9.  "A good critic is one who describes his adventures among masterpieces."

- 'La Vie littéraire', 1866.

10. "Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

- Anatole France.

11. "They did not fear men, for they did not know them, and had never received any harm from them; and there was in the monk a certain gentleness that reassured the most timid animals and that pleased these penguins extremely."

- 'Penguin Island', 1908.

Powerful Love Quotes From Anatole France

Becoming a good novelist takes a lot of effort.

Here's a list of some powerful love quotes for people who are looking for a good Anatole France quote about love.

12. "In art as in love, instinct is enough."

- 'The Garden of Epicurus', 1895.

13. "All the good writers of confessions, from Augustine onwards, are men who are still a little in love with their sins. One thing above all gives charm to men's thoughts, and this is unrest. A mind that is not uneasy irritates me and bores me."

- Anatole France.

14. "Yet, every now and then, there would pass a young girl, slender, fair, and desirable, arousing in young men a not ignoble desire to possess her, and stirring in old men regrets for ecstasy not seized and now forever past."

- 'The Gods Will Have Blood', 1912.

15. "We love truly only those we love even in their weakness and their poverty. To forbear, to forgive, to console, that alone is the science of love."

- 'Honey-Bee', 1890.

16. "Christianity has done love a great service by making it a sin."

- 'The Garden of Epicurus', 1895.

17. "Lovers who love well do not write down their happiness."

- 'The Log', 1859.

18. "The men who took care of the happiness of the people made their loved ones very unhappy."

- 'The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard', 1881.

19. "If the path be beautiful, let us not question where it leads."

- Anatole France.

Eye-Opening Anatole France Quotes About Education

Anatole France was a learned man who had a vast understanding of various topics ranging from religion, love, spirituality, law, and the field of education. Here are some Anatole France quotes about education.

20."Nine-tenths of education is encouragement."

- Anatole France.

21. "You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences."

- 'Anatole France Himself: A Boswellian Record by His Secretary, Jean Jaques Brousson', 1925.

22. "All the historical books which contain no lies are extremely tedious."

- 'The Log', 30 November 1859.

23. "The art of teaching is only the art of arousing the curiosity of young souls and then satisfying it."

- Anatole France.

24. "Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people's curiosity. It is enough to open minds; do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff. It will catch."

- 'The Garden of Epicurus', 1895.

25. "An education which does not cultivate the will is an education that depraves the mind."

- Anatole France.

Relevant Anatole France Quotes About Life

Here's a list of some hard-hitting quotes about life and the human condition by Anatole France.

26. "Suffering- how divine it is, how misunderstood! We owe it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe it to pit, we owe it to courage, we owe it all the virtues."

- 'The Garden of Epicurus', 1895.

27. "Ignorance and error are necessary for life like bread and water."

-  'Pierre Noziere', 1899.

28. "It is almost impossible to systematically constitute a natural morality. Nature has no principles. It gives us no reason to believe that human life is respectable. Nature, indifferent, makes no distinction between good and evil."

- 'The Revolt of the Angels', 1914.

29. "The greatest changes in social life are wrought imperceptibly, and are only seen from afar."

- "The White Stone", 1905.

30. "Those who produced the things necessary for life, wanted them; those who did not produce them had more than enough."

- 'Penguin Island', 1908.

31. "For the majority of people, though they do not know what to do with this life, long for another that shall have no end."

- 'The Revolt of the Angels', 1914.

32. "If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."

- Anatole France.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Anatole France Quotes then why not take a look at Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes, or Simone Weil Quotes.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

Top view image of feet of young people standing in a circle.

50+ Feet Quotes

See All

Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >