Raymond Williams

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Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product.
Eleanor Roosevelt
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Raymond Henry Williams (31 August 1921 - 26 January 1988) was a highly influential Welsh socialist academic, novelist and critic. He was Professor of Drama at the University of Cambridge (1974–1983).


  • If from poetry we expect a succession of signals for the release of miscellaneous private emotion we are likely to find Tears, Idle Tears valuable.
    • Reading and Criticism (1950)
  • We all like to think of ourselves as a standard, and I can see that it is genuinely difficult for the English middle class to suppose that the working class is not desperately anxious to become just like itself. I am afraid this must be unlearned.
    • Culture and Society (1958)
  • Every aspect of personal life is radically affected by the quality of general life, and yet the general life is seen at its most important in completely personal terms.
    • Realism and the Contemporary Novel (1961): The Long Revolution
  • The gap between our feelings and our social observation is dangerously wide.
    • Realism and the Contemporary Novel (1961): The Long Revolution
  • Culture is one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language.
    • Keywords (1983)


  • To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing.

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