"History ... is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind." -- Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
"History [is] a distillation of rumour" -- Thomas Carlyle, History of the French Revolution
"History is the essence of innumerable biographies." -- Thomas Carlyle, "On History"
"Hegel says somewhere that all great events and personalities in world history reappear in one fashion or another. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce." -- Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
"Does history repeat itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce? No, that's too grand, too considered a process. History just burps, and we taste again that raw-onion sandwich it swallowed centuries ago." -- Julian Barnes, A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters