This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for June 14, 2017: A Thunderstorm In Town

June 14, 2017: birthday: John Bartlett

It’s the birthday of the man who made it easy to find quotations, John Bartlett (books by this author), born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1820. He compiled memorable quotations while he worked at a university bookstore in Cambridge, and in 1855 published Familiar Quotations, now in its 18th edition and including over 22,000 quotations. In the preface of the first edition, he wrote that he wanted to show “the obligation our language owes to various authors for numerous phrases and familiar quotations which have become ‘household words.’”

Bartlett used an epigraph for the fourth edition of Familiar Quotations by Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.  It read: “I have here only made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the thread that ties them together.”