The Brothers’ Reading Group: The Best of Hugh Kingsmill

In the following video, Brother Brooke Kingsmill-Lunn delves into the work of his father, Hugh Kingsmill (1889-1949).

A talker of tremendous verve, Hugh Kingsmill wrote over thirty books in his career, including works of science fiction and parody, and in-depth biographies on such notable figures as George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Johnson and D.H. Lawrence.

He is nowadays perhaps best remembered for saying “friends are God’s apology for relations”, a dictum that was subsequently used by Richard Ingrams for the title of his memoir of Kingsmill’s friendships with Hesketh Pearson and Malcolm Muggeridge.

Kingsmill had a talent for writing aphorisms; some memorable examples include:

Suicide: The coward’s way in.

Spiritualism: Spiritualism is the mysticism of the materialist.

Talent and Genius: A man of talent thinks more highly of himself when he has a success, a man of genius thinks more highly of the world.

Shyness: Shyness is egotism out of its depth.

Fanaticism: Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.

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