Namaste friends. This post is a collection of quotes from the book - A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. A Discovery of Witches is about Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, who discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.
Anyone who has read paperback bestsellers or even watched television knows that vampires are breathtaking, but nothing prepares you to actually see one. Their bone structures are so well honed that they seem chiseled by an expert sculptor. Then they move, or speak, and your mind can’t begin to absorb what you’re seeing. Every movement is graceful; every word is musical. And their eyes are arresting, which is precisely how they catch their prey. One long look, a few quiet words, a touch: once you’re caught in a vampire’s snare you don’t stand a chance.
Witches, vampires, and daemons aren’t supposed to mix. You know that. Humans are more likely to notice us when we do. No daemon or vampire is worth the risk.
A little book can hold a big secret - one that might change the world. You’re a witch. You know words have power.
Every time I pick up a book or a document from the past, I’m in a battle with people who lived hundreds of years ago. They have their secrets and obsessions - all the things they won’t or can’t reveal. It’s my job to discover and explain them.
All you have to do is be a good listener. Nobody really wants to keep secrets, not even the dead. People leave clues everywhere, and if you pay attention, you can piece them together.
I can tell you as a scientist, that there’s no such thing as ‘normal.’ ‘Normal’ is a bedtime story - a fable - that humans tell themselves to feel better when faced with overwhelming evidence that most of what’s happening around them is not ‘normal’ at all.
A witch shouldn’t keep secrets from other witches. Bad things happen when she does.
The strongest distinguishing characteristic of humans is their power of denial. I have strength and long life, you have supernatural abilities, daemons have awe-inspiring creativity. Humans can convince themselves up is down and black is white. It’s their special gift.
As far as I can tell, there are only two emotions that keep the world spinning, year after year. One is fear. The other is desire.
Magic is desire made real. [...] When a witch concentrates on something she wants, and then imagines how she might get it, she can make it happen.
I don’t want to look back on a life where I took everything rather than earned it.
A vampire’s life was measured not in hours or years but in secrets revealed and kept.
There’s magic inside you, Diana, and it wants to get out, whether you ask for it or not.
I have never been a radical! Change is very much overrated.
It’s a scientist’s prerogative to change his mind as new information comes to light.
Why do vampires have such a strange attitude toward time? [...] Witches don’t have centuries to fall in love. We do it quickly.
It’s a historian’s job to uncover secrets. And I’m very good at it.
It is a blessing as well as a burden to love so much that you can hurt so badly when love is gone.
This was so different from books and movies, where love was made into something tense and difficult. Loving Matthew was much more like coming into port than heading out into a storm.
The life stories of a vampire are theirs to tell - and theirs alone.
I don’t mind one moment of love that you’ve shared with any creature, living or dead, so long as you want to be with me right at this moment.
Modern creatures are always in such a hurry. Call me old-fashioned if you’d like, but I want to enjoy every moment of our courtship.
Making love should be about intimacy, about knowing another’s body as well as your own.
My life now has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Everything before was preamble. Now I have you. One day you will be gone, and my life will be over.
No one sees as many centuries as I have without being careful. I’m always careful. Now more than ever, since I have so much more to lose.
That’s the most important lesson a warrior learns, witch. You learn how to pick your battles and let go of those you can’t win, to fight another day.
Try not to be too hard on yourself as you journey into the future. Keep your wits about you, and trust your instincts. It’s not much in the way of advice, but it’s all that a mother can give.
It will not be the first time my children have driven me to tears. But I wouldn’t give up the sorrow if it meant giving up the joy as well.
Explanations, like medicines, go down easier when accompanied by liquid refreshment.
Whiskey made it possible to close your eyes at night without hating yourself for everything you’d been ordered to do that day.