‘Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.’

Basil King, clergyman and author


“You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.”

Comment made to a young Elvis Presley fired after one performance.

“It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.’

Publisher’s comments about George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

“We don’t like their sound. Guitar music is on the way out.”

Major company dismissing an unsigned band called The Beatles.

“Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and become a dishwasher or something?”

Casting director’s comments about Oscar winning actor Sidney Poitier.

“He lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

An employee after sacking a young Walt Disney.

“I’m sorry, Mr Kipling. You don’t know how to use the English language.”

Editor of the San Francisco Examiner dismissing the novelist of Kim.

“I was considered by all my masters and my father to be a very ordinary boy rather below the common standard of intellect.”

Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species


“Come to the edge,” he said.

They said: “We’re afraid.”

“Come to the edge,” he said.

They came. He pushed them.

And they flew.

Guillaume Apollinaire

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