And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

14 August

Duke of Württemberg

‘His Highness and suite went in wherries [gondolas] to the beautiful and large royal church called Westminster, situated at the end, outside the city. In order to inspect the same. It is a very large structure, and in particular has a chapel within it which was built eighty years ago by King Henry VII, arched over with carved stone, so elegantly wrought that its equal is not easily to be found: there are inside some beautiful tombs of deceased Kings and Queens, covered all over with gilding, and executed in a most beautiful manner.

In front of this chapel, outside in the choir, are many other monuments of Kings made of marble, of all kinds of curious colours; [ . . .] In this choir stands also the chair in which, for several centuries past, all the Kings and Queens have been crowned: underneath lies a large stone, which is said to be the very one upon which the patriarch Jacob reposed when he saw the angels ascending and descending a ladder reaching to heaven. In the same choir was also shown the sword which King Edward III is said to have carried and used in battle and war; it is an immense blade, like a double-handed sword, so heavy that one can scarcely lift it. [. . .] In this beautiful church the English Ministers, who are dressed in white surplices such as the Papists wear, sang alternatively, and the organ played.’

34 heads on London Bridge


William Bagshaw Stevens,

‘All went to Chee Tor, a most romantic, lovely spot - dined on the grass by the head of a Spring - ‘Lady Burdett, You have not performed your promise. You have not given me Fanny’s Picture.’ ‘That’s not my fault. You should have asked me for it.’

Jones and I were to go to the Isle of Man the next day - postponed our Journey that I might get Fanny’s Picture copied. It was agreed to leave Buxton on Saturday and go all together to Foremark. Lady Burdett hoped I would go with them to Tunbridge.’

A disappointed man


Mary Shelly,

‘At four in the morning we depart from Troyes, and proceed in the new vehicle to Vandeuvres. The village remains still ruined by the war. We rest at Vandeuvres two hours, but walk in a wood belonging to a neighbouring chateau, and sleep under its shade. The moss was so soft; the murmur of the wind in the leaves was sweeter than Aeolian music we forgot that we were in France or in the world for a time.’

Write. Read Homer


Francis Lieber,
philosopher and teacher

‘Yesterday and the day before, serious riots against the negroes. This evening they assembled to defend themselves. I went to see them. They were an uncommonly fine set of people, well formed and well dressed. There were white men there ready to assist them; the soldiers out. The mayor told them to be quiet, but if they were nevertheless attacked, to fight like good fellows. . .’

Lieber’s Life and Letters


John William Horsley,

‘One does not lose the sound of Bank Holiday (nor of Derby Day) rapidly in prison. A woman in yesterday for being drunk and violent had been a teetotaller for nine months up to Bank Holiday. A man who cut his throat after Bank Holiday spent in a public-curse was only yesterday well enough to be brought up and remanded.

Went last night to get the police in a certain district to take up a scandalous case of a girl, about 13, living with and being taken out nightly by her mistress, a notorious prostitute. Suggested that the case might have been dealt with any time this last four years under the Industrial Schools Act Amendment Act (which will go down to posterity as Miss Ellice Hopkins’ Act, as the Criminal Law Amendment Act will be called Mr. Stead’s). But the inspector had never heard of the Act. Quite courteous and willing to take up the case, of which he knew a great deal, but was ignorant of the Act under which scores of children in London alone have been rescued from immoral surroundings. The fact is, if the police know that those at head-quarters desire that an Act should be enforced, they can and will enforce it; if they do not know, or know the contrary, they don’t.’

State-created crime


Ethel Turner,

‘We all went to Bondi for a picnic. It was a lovely day bin Lil and I had so much writing to do we really ought not to have gone. A second letter came from Mr McKinney requesting us to apologise and pay costs one guinea. Of course we refused to do either so I suppose they will lake proceedings.’

Seven Little Australians


Dorothy Mackellar,

‘Stayed in bed with hot bottles and talked to Robin, which was strange and made me feel shy. In the evening Mr Dods came home to his two invalids, and as Mrs Dods could eat nothing, he had dinner in my room, at her suggestion - and to the scandalization of Florence. Read heaps of poetry, heaps and he-eaps.’

I love a sunburnt country


Franz Kafka,

‘The opposite has happened. There were three letters. The last letter I could not resist. I love her as far as I am capable of it, but the love lies buried to the point of suffocation under fear and self-reproaches.

Conclusion for my case from ‘The Judgement’. I am indirectly in her debt for the story. But Georg goes to pieces because of his fiancée.

Coitus as punishment for the happiness of being together. Live as ascetically as possible, more ascetically than a bachelor, that is the only possible way for me to endure marriage. But she?

And despite all this, if we, I and F, had equal rights, if we had the same prospects and possibilities, I would not marry. But this blind alley into which I have slowly pushed her life makes it an unavoidable duty for me, although its consequences are by no means unpredictable. Some secret law of human relationship is at work here.’

I am entirely alone


Anaïs Nin,

‘I cannot live without seeing him. It is a hunger, an unbearable hunger. I rushed to him today. It is like touching fire. He makes me terribly happy.’

Nothing but the eyes


Jean Guéhenno,

‘I have finally left Clermont, where I spent one of the darkest, stupidest years of my life. These last weeks were especially painful for me, as stupidity was settling into power. Clermont had become, with Vichy, the refuge of journalists, writers, leaders of opinion, the refuge of everyone who’s supposed to think. I knew a lot of people. I could see how they were bowing to the new powers that be. It was frightful. How quickly thought and liberty can die! Last vision: the sidewalk cafe of the Glacier in Clermont; Monday, around 6 p.m. I recognize a few of my former comrades. I can distinguish two types: plump, heavy-lipped faces, swollen with rancid fat, bags under their heavy eyes. And thin faces, gnawed by envy, hatred, and ambition. All of them making a lot of “dough,” as they say; they don’t give a damn about reasons for living, as long as they’re living. Around them, their Muses and their whores, a blonde swarm wreathed in cigarette smoke.

I’m only here for three or four weeks at the most, likely to be called back at any time: for from now on, France is working, and the cabinet ministers are taking in hand those lazy civil servants, of whom I am one. But I feel an inexpressible happiness at being here again, in my village. Oh, nothing like their idiotic “Back to the land.” But it’s as if there were thick walls of air and the whole sky between that cowardly world and me. I would like to think of a few beautiful things.’

France has lost her soul


Abel J Herzberg,

‘Hut 13 is being punished. During roll-call, they had not stood orderly and still. Once again roll-call had lasted one and a half hours because someone miscounted in hut 28. Apparently hut 13 had got tired. Now they must stand in the cold, because it is chilly today [. . .]

Here civilisation no longer exists and consequently no sophistication either. As for eating, all I have to say is: there is hunger one side of our body, namely the inside, and fodder on the outside. Now the problem is: how to make the fodder reach the stomach. That is all. You have a fodder dish which is brown. It is a little impractical for a snout, else it could easily be used for pigs. You have a spoon, why? Because if you slurped from the your fodder dish you might make a mess, and that would be a pity.’

Civilisation no longer exists


Viktor Petrovich Savinykh,

‘We conducted an experiment in accordance with the line of the GKNT for the purpose of determining the pollution of the atmosphere of cities. We worked in the Zaporozhye area. Good orientators, we had previously set the gyroscopes and were accurate and then we kept it in the field of vision of all the equipment: the MKF-6, the MKS-M and the rest...’

Holiday on our Earth


Pikle - The Diary Review - The Diary Junction - Contact

And so made significant . . .
and its companion websites -
The Diary Review
and The Diary Junction - are maintained privately without any funding or advertising. Please consider supporting their author/editor by purchasing one or more of his books: the memoir, Why Ever Did I Want to Write, and the Not a Brave New World trilogy.
Thank you.

Why Ever Did I Want to Write is a patchwork of themed stories about one man’s early life, embracing highs and lows but driven by a desire to make the most of being alive, to experience, to feel, and above all to understand. Reminiscent of Karl Knausgaard’s A Death in the Family and Theodore Zeldin’s An Intimate History of Humanity, this memoir, often based on diaries, sees Lyons reflecting on a repressed childhood, exploring the world through years of travelling, and searching for meaning and excitement in the arts and love affairs – an archetype of the counterculture in the 1970s and 1980s.

Not a Brave New World is an extraordinary fictional memoir, a trilogy in three wives, spanning the whole of the 21st century: one man’s - Kip Fenn’s - frank account, sometimes acutely painful and sometimes surprisingly joyful, of his three partners, and his career in international diplomacy working to tackle the rich-poor divide.

GILLIAN - Book 1 - Amazon (US/UK)
Kip Fenn’s first love is in a coma. His father suddenly isn’t his father. After formative trips to Brussels and Brazil, Kip wins a civil service job. Unfortunately, a media baron discovers his sexual weakness and is blackmailing him for government secrets. If only Kip could find solace in his wife’s arms or joy in his children.

DIANA - Book 2 - Amazon (US/UK)
Kip Fenn is a success: his career has taken off within a major UN agency trying to spread wealth from the rich to the poor. But all is not well with the world - the golden age of oil and chips is now over, and unsustainable development is leading to social turmoil, and to world war. Kip has found love and a new family, but he can find no way to stop his older children self-destruct; nor does he realise his partner’s deceit.

LIZETTE - Book 3 - Amazon (US/UK)
Third time lucky - Kip Fenn finds true love. His UN career though is ending with a whimper. Another terrible war is cut short by the devastating Grey Years, and while nations rebuild many individuals turn Notek. In restless retirement, Kip’s lifelong passion for vintage photos sees him launching a new arts institution. But who is the mysterious visitor by his bedside, and how will she affect his planned deathday?


And so made significant . . .
is the world’s greatest online anthology of diary extracts. It is presented in the same way as popular books like The Assassin’s Cloak and The Faber Book of Diaries, i.e. by calendar day, but contains more, and many longer, extracts than is possible in published books. Moreover, for each quoted extract there’s a link to a Diary Review article with some or all of the following: further extracts, biographical information, contexts, a portrait, and links to online sources/etexts. Furthermore, new extracts are added on a regular basis.

in diary days



Notes and Cautions
In general, these diary extracts are quoted as given in the published (book or online) source referred to in the reference articles. Each extract may be all, a large part of, or a small part of the complete entry for that day. I have tried to indicate where text has been removed from within a quote by the use of trailing dots in square bracket.

For any other use of these diary extracts other than browsing please refer to the original sources.

Any author, publisher or other copyright holder who takes the view that I am unacceptably breaching their copyright please let me know. I have tried to remain sensitive to copyright rules (using far fewer quotes, for example, when a book, by an author still alive, remains in print and popular), but it is not practical for me to seek authorisation for every quote and article, since I maintain these websites without any funding or advertis-ing. I take the view that publicity for the source books is a quid pro quo for my use of the extracts, but I am more than happy to remove the extracts if asked.

SITE DEVISED by Paul K Lyons

The Diary Junction is one of those wonderful privately maintained public resources for which the Internet is justly celebrated: a database of information about celebrated and obscure diaries[over 500] from all historical periods, with referrals to the dates the diaries cover, where the originals are held and bibliographic information on published versions.’ Laura Miller, Salon

The Diary Review, hosted by Blogger, publishes magazine-style articles on diaries and diarists, several times a week. Now over ten years old, The Diary Review is the secondary source for the extracts in this online anthology.