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Updated by Graeme Thomson on Nov 12, 2014
Headline for 19 Best Accidentally Funny Quotes from Eng. Lit.
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19 Best Accidentally Funny Quotes from Eng. Lit.

Classic English Literature is not without its rewards. Every so often it turns up the occasional, wholly unintentional, belly laughs. Here are 19 of the best.

1

Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice.

Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice.

I may observe that private balls are much pleasanter than public ones.

2

Charles Dickens. Bleak House.

Charles Dickens. Bleak House.

Sir Leicester leans back in his chair, and breathlessly ejaculates.

3

Thomas Hardy. The Mayor of Casterbridge.

Thomas Hardy. The Mayor of Casterbridge.

Passing to and fro the Mayor beheld the unattractive exterior of Farfrae's erection in the West Walk.

4

Virginia Woolf. To the Lighthouse.

Virginia Woolf. To the Lighthouse.

She did in her own heart infinitely prefer boobies to clever men who wrote dissertation.

5

Jane Austen. Northanger Abbey.

Jane Austen. Northanger Abbey.

At fifteen, appearances were mending; she began to curl her hair and long for balls.

6

Thomas Hardy. Far From the Madding Crowd.

Thomas Hardy. Far From the Madding Crowd.

"Let's toss as men do," said Bathsheba, idly.

7

Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol.

Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol.

He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards.

8

Louisa May Alcott. Little Women.

Louisa May Alcott. Little Women.

Mothers are the best lovers in the world, but I don't mind whispering to Marmee that I'd like to try all kinds. It's very curious, but the more I try to satisfy myself with all sorts of natural affections, the more I seem to want.

9

HG Wells. The War of the Worlds.

HG Wells. The War of the Worlds.

His landlady came to the door, loosely wrapped in dressing-gown and shawl; her husband followed ejaculating.

10

Herman Melville. Moby Dick.

Herman Melville. Moby Dick.

Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness.

11

JRR Tokien. The Lord of the Rings.

JRR Tokien. The Lord of the Rings.

Bag end is a queer place, and its folks are even queerer.

12

Shakespeare. Othello.

Shakespeare. Othello.

Oh, bloody period!

13

Thomas Hardy. Far From the Madding Crowd.

Thomas Hardy. Far From the Madding Crowd.

The clocks struck the hour, and no Fanny appeared.

14

Chaucer. The Wife of Bath’s Prologue from The Canterbury Tales.

Chaucer. The Wife of Bath’s Prologue from The Canterbury Tales.

Whan that my fourthe housbonde was on beere.

15

Thomas Hardy. Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

Thomas Hardy. Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

They had proceeded thus gropingly two or three miles further when on a sudden Clare became conscious of some vast erection close in his front, rising sheer from the grass. They had almost struck themselves against it.

16

Charles Dickens. Nicholas Nickleby.

Charles Dickens. Nicholas Nickleby.

His custom being, when he had gained the ascendancy over those he took in hand, rather to keep them down than to give them their own way; and to exercise his vivacity upon them openly, and without reserve.

17

WB Yeats. In Memory of Major Robert Gregory

WB Yeats. In Memory of Major Robert Gregory

Some burn damp faggots, others may consume
The entire combustible world in one small room.

18

Bram Stoker. Dracula.

Bram Stoker. Dracula.

Holding his candle so that he could read the coffin plates, and so holding it that the sperm dropped in white patches which congealed as they touched the metal.

19

Shakespeare. Anthony and Cleopatra.

Shakespeare. Anthony and Cleopatra.

I have yet room for six scotches more.