Quotations From ELLEN KEY


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  • Art, that great undogmatized church.
    Ellen Key (1849-1926), Swedish author, feminist. The Renaissance of Motherhood, pt. 2, ch. 1 (1914).
  • Love is moral even without legal marriage, but marriage is immoral without love.
    Ellen Key (1849-1926), Swedish author, feminist. "The Morality of Woman," The Morality of Woman and Other Essays (1911).

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  • Corporal punishment is as humiliating for him who gives it as for him who receives it; it is ineffective besides. Neither shame nor physical pain have any other effect than a hardening one.
    Ellen Key (1849-1926), Swedish author, feminist. The Century of the Child, ch. 7 (1909).

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  • The educator must above all understand how to wait; to reckon all effects in the light of the future, not of the present.
    Ellen Key (1849-1926), Swedish author, feminist. "The Conventional Woman," The Morality of Woman and Other Essays (1911).

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  • Not observation of a duty but liberty itself is the pledge that assures fidelity.
    Ellen Key (1849-1926), Swedish author, feminist. "The Morality of Woman," The Morality of Woman and Other Essays (1911).
  • When one paints an ideal, one does not need to limit one's imagination.
    Ellen Key (1849-1926), Swedish author, feminist. "The Woman of the Future," The Morality of Woman and Other Essays (1911).

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  • The emancipation of women is practically the greatest egoistic movement of the nineteenth century, and the most intense affirmation of the right of the self that history has yet seen.
    Ellen Key (1849-1926), Swedish author, feminist. The Century of the Child, ch. 2 (1909).

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  • All philanthropy ... is only a savory fumigation burning at the mouth of a sewer. This incense offering makes the air more endurable to passers-by, but it does not hinder the infection in the sewer from spreading.
    Ellen Key (1849-1926), Swedish author, feminist. The Century of the Child, ch. 2 (1909).
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