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The 50 best literary put-downs

People like Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay have built careers on the back of their infamous tongue lashings. But humans have had the capacity to be snarky, mean and downright insulting to one another way before the dawn of reality TV. What's more, a lot of them have committed their insults to print. From Dostoevsky to Charles Dickens and Grace Dent to Shakespeare, we present some of the wittiest and cruelest jibes ever to have graced the realm of literature. Who knew books could be quite so rude?

Click on an image below to launch the gallery. Do you agree with our choices? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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