As a nipper growing up our dear old Mum would beseech of us many things: Always wash behind your ears; Never eat three Shredded Wheat; and Never marry a lady taller than our good selves.
But there was one other maxim that haunted our very being: If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all.
We’d like to say that we maintain this mantra, but unfortunately we love nothing more than a particular cutting quip or insult. Our excuse for such verbal volleys? If it’s good enough for literature then it’s good enough for us.
To that end, allow us to present the 50 greatest literary putdowns of all time…
Click on each image for the full quote