Edith Hamilton visiting Greek ruins, 1957. Photo by
Describing her childhood in Indiana, she said,
My father was well-to-do, but he wasn’t interested in making money; he was interested in making people use their minds.
Edith travelled with her sister, Alice, to Germany to study humanities and classics at Leipzig, but discovered that women were still not allowed to earn a doctoral degree. The situation didn’t improve when she moved to the University of Munich, either.
Life for him was an adventure, perilous indeed, but men are not made for safe havens. The fullness of life is in the hazards of life. And, at the worst, there is that in us which can turn defeat into victory.
This is a wonderful quote–one of my favourites–and is included in David Brooks’s The Social Animal. If you hadn’t read this, it’s a superb “story” of the lives of two fictional characters that is intersected with psychological, biological and sociological explanations of their motives, growth and discoveries as they progress through life.
To reference another quote from Hamilton, “All things are at odds when God lets a thinker loose on this planet” (The Greek Way).