I would like to find the original source for the following quote.

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.

Searching online, one finds this quote frequently attributed to Albert Einstein as well as Charles Kingsley (apparently an English teacher in the UK in the 19th century). However, not a single website I've consulted included a source, let alone a year with the quote. Moreover, I've consulted half a dozen standard quotation references, including the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and the book "The Quotable Einstein". None contained the quote when using a keyword search with "comfort, luxury" or "comfort and luxury". Quotation references indexed by quotee I checked specifically for both Einstein and Kingsley and they didn't list the quote either.

Does anybody know a source of this quote? Do we have to conclude that the two supposed quotees are made up and just have conquered the internet?

  • I have tried keywords from the second part of the sentence instead, but found no sources of the supposed quote (meaning they repeat the quote without mentioning the exact source). Only "as said by..." but not where or when or why. Nov 18, 2019 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


Not sure if either Einstein or Kingsley said this, but found this similar expression in The Rotarian, September 1953, in an article by J E Perry. The sentence is not quoted, so it may be a Perryism. Or he (she?) might likely have used without attribution...as I’ve subsequently seen this from 1936, referencing Kingsley. Drat.

  • Thank you! It appears as though we will never know for sure.
    – Marco
    Nov 20, 2019 at 2:29

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