"Dame Margaret Drabble, Lady Holroyd" , is an English novelist, biographer and critic.

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You learn to put your emotional luggage where it will do some good, instead of using it to shit on other people, or blow up aeroplanes.

Family life itself, that safest, most traditional, most approved of female choices, is not a sanctuary: It is, perpetually, a dangerous place.

Nothing succeeds, they say, like success. And certainly nothing fails like failure.

And there isn't any way that one can get rid of the guilt of having a nice body by saying that one can serve society with it, because that would end up with oneself as what? There simply doesn't seem to be any moral place for flesh.

The human mind can bear plenty of reality but not too much intermittent gloom.

Affluence was, quite simply, a question of texture ... The threadbare carpets of infancy, the coconut matting, the ill-laid linoleum, the utility furniture ... had all spoken of a life too near the bones of subsistence, too little padded, too severely worn.