"Imitation Is The Best Form Of Flattery"--Who Coined This Phrase?


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Tony Fyler Profile
Tony Fyler answered
A man by the name of Charles Caleb Colton is attributed with the phrase ‘Imitation is the best form of flattery’. An Eton educated graduate, he was selected by the Vicarage of Kew to begin his career as a Reverend - alas he had a very turbulent appointment with the Church and  after only sixteen years’ service he left and travelled to the USA. It was rumoured that he had to give up his career as he had become burdened with debt and his creditors took out a lawsuit on him. During his life, he produced a substantial body of poetry and prose covering revered subjects such as Napoleon, Nero, Oliver Cromwell Samuel Johnson and Caligula.
He moved to Paris, France, where he indulged in a gambling habit that brought him success and then in turn much poverty. He resided in France until his death. He died from a recurring illness of which he was too fearful to take any surgery for and therefore took his own life quite violently at fifty-two - it is thought that the fear of the procedure drove him to insanity. His most famous works are to be found in a book entitled Lacon or Many Things in Few Words; this was published in London 1826 and is appreciated widely in many literary circles
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" is attributed to Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832).
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The actual quote is "Imitation is the sincerest of flattery." but it is often quoted as "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  The phrase was first recorded as the words of Charles Caleb Colton, (1780 - 1832) in Lacon, volume I, no. 183.  Colton was an English cleric and writer. His books, including collections regarding conduct were extremely popular during his day.  Toward the end of 1820, Colton published Lacon, or Many Things in Few Words, addressed to those who think. That is what is referred to a Volume I.  It attracted attention and praise and five more printings were issued in 1821. Lacon, Vol. II appeared in 1822.

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