Who said: "Hell hath no fury.... like a woman scorned"

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." - William Congreve

William Congreve (1670-1729) wrote some of the most popular English plays of the Restoration period (the period from 1660 when the monarchy was restablished in Britain after a 10 year period as a Republic) but is perhaps best remembered for his 1697 tragedy, The Mourning Bride, the source of his two most famous, albeit misquoted, quotes.

"Music has charms to soothe a savage breast" (often misquoted as "beast"), and
"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned," (usually misquoted as "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned")

Congreve was born in West Yorkshire, England in 1670 but grew up in Ireland. After attending Trinity College, Dublin, where he met Jonathan Swift and became life-long friends, he went to London to study law but found himself pulled towards the world of drama. In his first seven years as a playwright he wrote four comedies in addition to his one tragedy, The Mourning Bride, and enjoyed considerable success; but by the time he was thirty his dramatic star was on the wane as public taste shifted against his particular style of 'comedy of manners'.

Thus, he withdrew from the theater and lived the rest of his life on the earnings from his plays, while writing the occasional poem and holding a few minor political positions. He never married but was known for his friendships with prominent actresses and noblewomen, including Henrietta Godolphin, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough (daughter of the famous general John Churchill, later 1st Duke of Marlborough) with whom he had a daughter, Mary.

He died in 1729 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, in an area in the South Transept known as Poets' Corner for the number of poets, playwrights and writers buried or commemorated there, starting with Geoffrey Chaucer in 1400.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.