MLA Gold Award Site

Why do we say "Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining.

Well-Known Expressions

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Meaning:

Even in the worst of situations there is hope of better.

Background:

It would seem that we have the 17th century poet John Milton to thank for the first linking of clouds and silver linings:

"Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove."

Comus: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle by John Milton, 1634.

There are plentiful examples of clouds and silver linings in literature after this date, even to the point that some simply reference "Milton's clouds" on the assumption that readers will know they have silver linings. But it wasn't until the early Victorian era in 1840 where we start to get close to the expression as used today. A review of Marian; or a Young Maid's Fortunes by Mrs. S. C. Hall (Anna Maria Hall) in the first volume of Dublin Magazine comments that "there's a silver lining to every cloud that sails about the heavens if we could only see it."

The first known use of the expression as we know it today was in a 1949 copy of La Belle Assemblée which, rather ironically, intended to quote Mrs Hall (who in turn had quoted Milton) but instead mangled the reference and thus gave birth to the proverb as we know it today.

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
    by Kathleen Rooney

    "Effervescent with verve, wit, and heart" - Booklist, starred review

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win No Man's Land

No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien

Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.

Enter

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Conclave
    Conclave
    by Robert Harris
    Although best known for his fact-based historical thrillers, in Conclave, best-selling author Robert...
  • Book Jacket: Conclave
    Conclave
    by Robert Harris
    Although best known for his fact-based historical thrillers, in Conclave, best-selling author Robert...
  • Book Jacket: A Question of Mercy
    A Question of Mercy
    by Elizabeth Cox
    Authors leave little gifts for readers, which seem to turn up at the exact right moment. Perhaps a ...

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H W S W T Devil S H A L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.