Elizabeth Bibesco

British writer, and Romanian princess

Princess Elizabeth (Asquith) Bibesco (26 February 18977 April 1945) was an English writer and poet, active between 1921 and 1940. A final posthumous collection of her stories, poems and aphorisms was published under the title Haven in 1951.

Elizabeth Bibesco, circa 1919



Haven (1951)

  • Of what help is anyone who can only be approached with the right words?
  • Blessed are those who give without remembering and take without forgetting.
  • Life more often teaches us how to perfect our weaknesses than how to develop our strengths.
  • Those we love are entitled to resent the allowances we make for them.
  • To be on a pedestal is to be in a corner.
  • What we buy belongs to us only when the price is forgotten.
  • It is easier to be generous than to be just.
  • Each play worth seeing should be watched a second time on the faces of the audience.
  • Winter draws what summer paints.
  • The image of ourselves in the minds of others is the picture of a stranger we shall never see.
  • We learn nothing by being right.
  • We are bound to those we love by their imperfections — their perfections help us to explain them to others.
  • Our losses should frequently be put on the credit side.
  • To regret your sins of commission as much as your sins of omission is to prove yourself a most unworthy sinner.
  • Death is part of this life and not of the next.
  • Perfect moments don't turn into half-hours.
    • Portrait of Caroline
  • My soul has gained the freedom of the night.
    • Poems (1928)

About Elizabeth Bibesco

  • I always felt a deep malaise in her — her writing and the fluctuations of her brilliant and esoteic conversation led her everywhere but to self-satisfaction.
  • Prince Antoine Bibesco, when asked (by her mother, Margot Asquith) why his wife didn't do more "good works", such as visiting a hospital, replied, "Dearest Margot, Elizabeth visits a hospital three times a week, with the result that the lame walk, the blind see, and the dumb would speak if they could get a word in edgeways."
    • Anecdote about Antoine and Elizabeth Bibesco, mentioned in London's Secret History (1983) by Peter Bushell, p. 187
  • Princess Bibesco delighted in a semi-ideal world — a world which, though having a counterpart in her experience, was to a great extent brought into being by her own temperament and, one might say, flair.
  • Miss Asquith, who was probably unsurpassed in intelligence by any of her contemporaries … looked like a lovely figure in an Italian fresco.
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