Below is a partial list of quotes about the famous University of Cambridge by former students, fellows, poets, scientists, and politicians who were affiliated with Cambridge. Quotes may be included from both members and non-members of the university.
A - F
- Undergraduates owe their happiness chiefly to the consciousness that they are no longer at school. The nonsense which was knocked out of them at school is all put gently back at Oxford or Cambridge.
- Living in Cambridge, with nature and everything, it's so clean.
- You will feel interested to know the fate of my mathematical speculations in Cambridge. One of the papers is already printed in the Mathematical Journal. Another, which I sent a short time ago, has been very favourably received, and will shortly be printed together with one I had previously sent.
- There are people who say, 'Oh this guy is quite thick.' I think the reason is that, increasingly, I don't mind being simple in terms of literary expression. Others say, 'No, no, no. He went to Cambridge. He got a good degree. He must be Einstein.'
- Alain de Botton, in Robert Chalmers Alain de Botton: 'My father was physically quite violent... he would destroy the house', The Independent, 25 March 2012
- The dons of Oxford and Cambridge are too busy educating the young men to be able to teach them anything.
- Samuel Butler, in The Note-books of Samuel Butler: Easyread Super Large 18pt Edition, ReadHowYouWant.com, 28 January 2008, p. 42
- I ran out in the morning when the air was clean and new,
And all the grass was glittering and grey with autumn dew;
I ran out to the apple-tree and pull’d an apple down,
And all the bells were ringing in the grey old town.Down in the town off the bridges and the grass
They are sweeping up the leaves to let the people pass,—
Sweeping up the old leaves, golden-reds and browns,
Whilst the men go to lecture with the wind in their gowns.
- Frances Cornford, "Autumn Morning at Cambridge"
G - L
- I find Cambridge an asylum, in every sense of the word.
- Cambridge has seen many strange sights. It has seen Wordsworth drunk, it has seen Porson sober. I am a greater scholar than Wordsworth and I am a greater poet than Porson. So I fall betwixt and between
- Cambridge was the place for someone from the Colonies or the Dominions to go on to, and it was to the Cavendish Laboratory that one went to do physics.
- I did have a certain frustration about how the world was. I still don't like authority exercised without reason. But they laugh at you at Cambridge if you say that sort of thing. For them, the law is a system of rules not that different from mathematics. It's not your business to say what's right and wrong - you just apply the rules on one side or the other. It doesn't matter which.
- "To put it in somewhat drastic terms, Cambridge in the thirties was characterised by two things: a craze for communism and a craze for homosexuality."
M - R
- Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.
- Looking through the list of earlier Nobel laureates, I note a large number with whom I became acquainted and with whom I interacted during those years as they passed through Cambridge.
- I am looking forward very much to getting back to Cambridge, and being able to say what I think and not to mean what I say: two things which at home are impossible. Cambridge is one of the few places where one can talk unlimited nonsense and generalities without anyone pulling one up or confronting one with them when one says just the opposite the next day.
- Bertrand Russell , Letter to Alys Pearsall Smith (1893); published in The Selected Letters of Bertrand Russell, Volume 1: The Private Years (1884–1914), edited by Nicholas Griffin.
- Against my will, in the course of my travels, the belief that everything worth knowing was known at Cambridge gradually wore off. In this respect my travels were very useful to me.
S - Z
- No wonder that Oxford and Cambridge profound,
In learning and science so greatly abound;
Since some carry thither a little each day,
And we meet with so few who bring any away.
- Horace Smith, in The Tin Trumpet: Or, Heads and Tails, for the Wise and Waggish, Volume 2, Whittaker & Company, 1836, p. 130
- Cambridge was a joy. Tediously. People reading books in a posh place. It was my fantasy. I loved it. I miss it still.
- If we help an educated man's daughter to go to Cambridge are we not forcing her to think not about education but about war? -- not how she can learn, but how she can fight in order that she might win the same advantages as her brothers?