History, indeed, is like a picture gallery in which there are few originals and many copies.

[On voit que l’histoire est une galerie de tableaux où il y a peu d’originaux et beaucoup de copies.]

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French writer, diplomat, politician
The Old Regime and the Revolution [L’Ancien régime et la Révolution], Book 2, ch. 6 (1856) [tr. Gilbert (1955)]

Alternate translations:

History, it is easily perceived, is a picture-gallery containing a host of copies and very few originals.
[tr. Bonner (1856)]

One sees that history is an art gallery where there are few originals and many copies.
[tr. Kahan]

History is a gallery of pictures in which there are many copies and few originals.

Added on 1-Nov-21 | Last updated 1-Nov-21
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