Taylor Caldwell

Attacking another nation … acts as a sort of catharsis, temporarily, on men’s fear of their immediate neighbors. This is the explanation of all wars, all racial and religious hatreds, all massacres, and all attempts at genocide.
A wise man distrusts his neighbor. A wiser man distrusts both his neighbor and himself. The wisest man of all distrusts his government.

Janet Miriam Holland Taylor Caldwell (September 7, 1900August 30, 1985) was an Anglo-American novelist and author of popular fiction, also known by the pen names Marcus Holland and Max Reiner, and by her married name of J. Miriam Reback.




  • You see, when a nation threatens another nation the people of the latter forget their factionalism, their local antagonisms, their political differences, their suspicions of each other, their religious hostilities, and band together as one unit. Leaders know that, and that is why so many of them whip up wars during periods of national crisis, or when the people become discontented and angry. The leaders stigmatize the enemy with every vice they can think of, every evil and human depravity. They stimulate their people’s natural fear of all other men by channeling it into a defined fear of just certain men, or nations. Attacking another nation, then, acts as a sort of catharsis, temporarily, on men’s fear of their immediate neighbors. This is the explanation of all wars, all racial and religious hatreds, all massacres, and all attempts at genocide.
    • The Devil's Advocate (1952)
  • A wise man distrusts his neighbor. A wiser man distrusts both his neighbor and himself. The wisest man of all distrusts his government.
    • The Devil's Advocate (1952)
  • I am the only major best-selling novelist in the United States who is not tainted by "liberalism" and Communism, and who has never belonged to a Communist front. As a result, the press, which is mainly "liberal", has been furiously attacking me for years in their alleged "reviews."... In our bitterness, we are beginning to wonder what protection an antiCommunist has in the United States now, had we been Communists we'd have had the enthusiastic support of the press and would now be very wealthy, for, as liberal writers told me in New York, with contempt, that had we been "liberals" we'd not have had to pay any taxes, or only token payments.
  • Learning … should be a joy and full of excitement. It is life's greatest adventure; it is an illustrated excursion into the minds of noble and learned men, not a conducted tour through a jail. So its surroundings should be as gracious as possible, to complement it.
    • The Sound of Thunder (1957) Pt. I, Ch. 9
  • It is a stern fact of history that no nation that rushed to the abyss ever turned back. Not ever, in the long history of the world. We are now on the edge of the abyss. Can we, for the first time in history, turn back? It is up to you.
    • "Honoria" (1957); republished in The New American, Vol. 19, No. 20, (6 October 2003)
  • From my early childhood Lucanus, or Luke, the great Apostle, has obsessed my mind. He was the only Apostle who was not a Jew. He never saw Christ. All that is written in his eloquent but restrained Gospel he acquired from hearsay, from witnesses, from the Mother of Christ, from disciples, and from the Apostles. His first visit to Israel took place almost a year after the Crucifixion.
    Yet he became one of the greatest of the Apostles. Like Saul of Tarsus, later to be known as Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, he believed that Our Lord came not only to the Jews but to the Gentiles, also. He had much in common with Paul, because Paul too had never seen the Christ. Each had had an individual revelation. These two men had difficulty with the original Apostles because the latter stubbornly believed for a considerable time that Our Lord was incarnated, and died, only for the salvation of the Jews, even after Pentecost.
    Why has St. Luke always obsessed me, and why have I always loved him from childhood? I do not know. I can only quote Friedrich Nietzsche on this matter: "One hears — one does not seek; one does not ask who gives — I have never had any choice about it."


  • Antonius [i. e., C. Antonius Hybrida] heartily agreed with him [i. e., M. Tullius Cicero] that the budget should be balanced, that the Treasury should be refilled, that public debt should be reduced, that the arrogance of the generals should be tempered and controlled, that assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt, that the mobs should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence, and that prudence and frugality should be put into practice as soon as possible.
    • A Pillar of Iron (1965), p. 483 of the 1965 edition published by Doubleday (Garden City, NY), and p. 371 (in chapter 51) of the 1966 British edition from Collins (London). The passage, as written or in shortened or modified form, has sometimes been misattributed to M. Tullius Cicero himself. Its origin and history of misquotation have been discussed at Quote Investigator and Snopes.
  • There can be help. There's always God," said Amy. "I'm ashamed. I'd forgotten about Him.” She was quiet for a time. When she lifted her head she looked older and resolute. “Don’t blame yourself too much, Cousin Caroline,” she said. “That’s as bad as taking no blame at all. I’m not going to blame everything on Ames; I was a little fool myself. I was old enough to know that things aren’t simple.
    • A Prologue to Love (1961)
  • The ancient traditions entertain the possibility of the eventual remorse of the spirit of Evil and its reconciliation with God.  Who is to say?
    In the book of Job Lucifer always presents himself before the Lord as “one of the sons of God,” and implies that he is not God’s enemy but man’s, and that he is the prosecutor of man before God, the witness to his crimes, the denouncer who demands the extreme punishment of eternal death for the blasphemy of man’s existence.  Man’s little imagination has presented him in horrific apparitions, some of them absurd and jejune, horned and hoofed, yet he was the greatest, most powerful and most resplendent of the archangels and is still an archangel.  To denigrate him as a ridiculous figure, and ugly and paltry, is wrong, and does a disservice to God Who can create nothing ugly — only man can do that — and in the belittling of Lucifer there is a great danger.  Evil is nothing to belittle, nor the anguish of Evil.  Lucifer, as the Holy Bible states, is Prince of this World, and certainly he cannot be as hideous as the other self-proclaimed “princes” we have seen in this century, and in past centuries.  And his power is only a little less than the power of the Almighty, and has its expression only in Man.
    • Dialouges with the Devil (1967), Foreward
  • "Childish raptures! said Lucifer, with scorn, his eyes flashing like lightning. "Are we indeed whimpering and craven children, or slaves? Can we be content with toys and little deliciousnesses? Are we not mind, as well as emotion? And is not the mind, of both angel and man, the noblest of possessions, and worth exercising. It is in our minds that we approach the closest of Him, Who is all Mind. Mind is the creator of all philosophy, all order, all beauty, all satisfaction, but emotion is the lowliest of the virtues, if it is a virtue at all. Mind has in it the capacity to know all things, or, at least, the minds of angels."
    • Dialouges with the Devil (1967)


  • The American insanity for Loving Everybody is ruining my good temper and delivering my stomach to enormous bouts with acidity.
    • On Growing Up Tough, "Dolts and Love Cultists" (1971)
  • We, perhaps, have corrupted our children and our grandchildren by heedless affluence, by a lack of manliness, by giving the younger generation more money and liberty than their youth can handle, by indoctrinating them with sinister ideologies and false values, by permitting them, as young children, to indulge themselves in imprudence to superiors and defiance of duly constituted authority, by lack of prudent, swift punishment when the transgressed, by coddling and pampering them when they were children and protecting them from a very dangerous world — which always was and always will be. We gave them no moral arms, no spiritual armor.
    In reality.... the nature of human beings never changes; it is immutable. The present generation of children and the present generation of young adults from the age of thirteen to eighteen is, therefore, no different from that of their great-great-grandparents.
    Political fads come and go; theories rise and fall; the scientific ‘truth’ of today becomes the discarded error of tomorrow.
    Man’s ideas change, but not his inherent nature. That remains. So, if the children are monstrous today – even criminal – it is not because their natures have become polluted, but because they have not been taught better, nor disciplined.
    • On Growing Up Tough (1970), "The Purple Lodge & The Hippies"
  • There is no solid satisfaction in any career for a woman like myself. There is no home, no true freedom, no hope, no joy, no expectation for tomorrow, no contentment. I would rather cook a meal for a man and bring him his slippers and feel myself in the protection of his arms than have all the citations and awards and honors I have received worldwide, including the Ribbon of Legion of Honor and my property and my bank accounts. They mean nothing to me. And I am only one among the millions of sad women like myself.
    • Ask Them Yourself
  • The Liberation Ladies will lead to generations of women willing to support a tired husband, and provide for his old age. He can be snug-abed in the morning while she pounds off in her thick boots to her job or carries a briefcase to her office. And when she comes home at night - she can cook his dinner, too, and wash and iron his shirts. She can do the housework, while he watches TV and complains of the pain in his back - which she will eventually rub away at bedtime. Women wanted careers, didn't they? They can do a man’s work, can't they? Well, let 'em do it, and be glad they were able to get a husband besides, even if they have to take care of him! Men, in short, are licking their lips and, for the first time in history, are readying themselves to be the exploiters in their turn…. Mom's out there, plugging and 'fulfilling' herself, and why should Pop worry? He's had it coming to him since Eve....
    • "They're Spoiling Eve's Great Con Game" in American Opinion (September 1970), p. 6
  • Do not believe for an instant that the world's conspiring elite in every nation have so much as a serious quarrel among them. They have just one object: control through tribute. Your slavery, through tribute, and mine... Behind this attack are the self-styled elite, secure in their own power and riches... To be effective we must direct our attacks on the real criminals, the wealthy, and powerful and secret elite of all the world - the conspirators laboring day and night to enslave us.
  • I shudder at the very thought of being born again into this world. Life to me . . . has been a monstrous, painful, agonizing affair, and the idea of repeating such an existence — even if better in a way — is horrifying to me. . . . I gratefully look forward to oblivion, but I must be sure of it.

The Captains, the Kings, and Taylor Caldwell (1978)Edit

Quotations of Caldwell from a 1978 interview, published as "The Captains, the Kings, and Taylor Caldwell" by George F. Smith in Writer’s Yearbook 1980
  • About half of my published novels were written before I was published. So I didn’t write a book every two years, as some people think.
    Writing — I exist only for that. It’s the most important thing in my life. It’s not apart from me. I have no other interests, except cooking. I don’t belong to any organizations, clubs — I don’t go to lunches. This is my life, the most important thing — far more important than anything else I do. It has to be that way, otherwise you’re just a hobbyist.
    Now, a painter needs only to know the technique of his painting, and he has to have a tremendous emotional response to it. Musicians, sculptors — the same way. But they don’t have to know about everything. A writer does.
  • Writing isn’t fun. It’s the hardest work in the world. The very, very hardest. I mean creative writing. If it’s reportorial, it’s a different thing. When you have to create a whole milieu, with characters and background, that’s a different thing entirely. … Oh, you start out all enthusiastic. But after two or three chapters it becomes plain drudgery. I worked about ten hours the other night just on correcting and rewriting, because what you write originally is just a shadow of what you had in mind.
  • This world’s brought me very little joy, very little satisfaction. It’s brought me nothing but tragedy from the time I was born. I regret every day I live. The human situation is not as unique as you think it is. We’re all the same. We all get kicked in the pants, we all have our moments of elation — though not much happiness. Happiness is a child’s word. There may be short periods of contentment, but very short. Life is mostly disappointment, tragedy, loss and failure.
  • I don’t know how I’ve survived the onslaughts of the government. It almost makes me believe in the Deity. I’m a Catholic, but I’m a Catholic-atheist, because the tragedies in life have overwhelmed me.
  • You’ve got to look at life clearly. No rose-colored glasses. The human race is not very admirable. It was a big mistake of God’s . . . The more I see of people, the more bitter I become. I think I appeal to readers because there’s nothing false or hypocritical in what I write. And they recognize themselves, and recognize their fears. And they know what bastards they are.
  • I don’t like women. I never did. That’s why I don’t belong to women’s lib. Most of my relatives were male. Women are the inferior sex. There’s no doubt about it — women are the inferior sex, in every way. There’s never been any woman genius — never. With all the opportunity in the world — all the leisure in the world, all the shelter — if women had any genius, it would’ve come out. It never did. There’s been no woman Michelangelo, or Beethoven, or Mozart.
  • To eliminate sex from a book is to eliminate the great creative force in the world. Out of the sexual instinct rises all the art, you know. … No eunuch ever wrote a book.
  • I read the book of Job over and over. Poor Job. He was afflicted. According to the Bible, he was a just man. But Satan said, “You put your finger on him, and injure him, and he won’t be such a just, devout man.”
    So God said to Satan, “Do anything you want with him, but spare his life.” And so he was afflicted. His children deserted him — he lost everything. He was reduced to sackcloth and ashes. Even his wife said, “Curse God and die.” But he didn’t. But he did rebuke God. He said, “I’ve lived a devout life. Worshipped You. I was just to my fellow man. Accomplished all I could in Your name. Look what’s happened.”
    And God answered him, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world? Where were you when I created the galaxies and the universes? Answer as a man! Gird up your loins and answer as a man!”
    That’s the subject of my next book.
  • I was talking to a woman last night. I said, “I’m not like other people.” She started to giggle. Then I raised my voice and said evenly, “That’s one blessing God gave writers — they’re not like other people!”

Quotes about CaldwellEdit

  • Several years ago, Taylor Caldwell invited the Duchess of Windsor for a luncheon with fifteen others. The Duchess' secretary phoned Miss Caldwell to ask what transportation was being used, and Taylor Caldwell replied, "her husband would drive over to pick up the Duchess". The secretary replied, "I'm sorry, Miss Caldwell, your husband is Jewish and the Duchess does not mix socially with Jews". Taylor Caldwell then exploded, "Tell the Duchess, I am Dutch Protestant and I don't mix socially with prostitutes."

External linksEdit