"There is no education like adversity” was written by Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881) in Endymion (1880). William Hazlitt (1778-1830), in the essay “On the Conversation of Lords” (1826), had much earlier written something similar:
“Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it.’”
People who have an education from adversity are said to have gone to the “college/school/university of hard knocks.”
Wikiquote: Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (21 December 1804 – 19 April 1881) was a British politician, novelist, and essayist, serving twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The anniversary of his death on 19 April is known as Primrose Day.
There is no education like adversity.
. Ch. 61.
January (?) 1826, The New Monthly Magazine, “On the Conversation of Lords,” pg. 370:
Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it.
December 1880, Fraser’s Magazine, pg. 708:
But, after all, as Endymion’s friend assures him, “there is no education like adversity.”
By Benjamin Disraeli (Earl of Beaconsfield)
London: Longmans, Green & Co.
“You have good judgment, great industry, a fairly quick perception, little passion — perhaps hardly enough; but that is probably the consequence of the sorrows and troubles of early life. But, after all, there is no education like adversity.”
29 October 1881, Daily Bulletin (San Francisco, CA), “Ideas from Various Authors,” Supplement, pg. 1, col. 6:
There is no education like adversity.—Beaconsfield.
20 May 1898, The Far East: An Exponent of Japanese Thoughts and Affairs, pg. 381:
“There is no education like adversity” said Lord Beaconsfield, and our own proverb “Karwai ko ni wj tain wo sasi” recognizes this truth.
Handy-book of Literary Curiosities
By William Shepard Walsh
Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott Company
Carlyle admits that “adversity is sometime hard upon a man, but,” he adds, “for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity” (Heroes and Hero-Worship” The Hero as Man of Letters). Hazlitt had already said the same thing in his “Sketches and Essays.” “Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater” (On the Conversation of Lords). And the arch-plagiarist Disraeli, in “Endymion,” ch. lxi., gives us the aphorism, “There is no education like adversity.”
Coach Wooden’s Leadership Game Plan for Success
By John Wooden and Steve Jamison
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
Walt Disney once said, “There is no education like adversity.”