And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

19 August

Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville,
civil servant

‘I went to Brighton on Saturday to see the Duke [of York - George IV’s brother and heir presumptive at the time]; returned to-day. The Pavilion is finished. The King has had a subterranean passage made from the house to the stables, which is said to have cost 3,000l or 5,000l; I forget which. There is also a bath in his apartment, with pipes to conduct water from the sea; these pipes cost 600l. The King has not taken a sea bath for sixteen years.’

The King’s bathing habits


William Gladstone,
prime minister

‘Remained in bed. Read Goethe and translated a few lines. Also Beauties of Shakespere. In the evening it blew: very ill though in bed. Could not help admiring the crests of the waves even as I stood at cabin window.’

An account book of time


Lester Frank Ward,
botanist and sociologist

‘Hearing mention of an Episcopal meeting at six o’clock in the evening I decided to attend it. After having finished a letter I went to Sunday School and finally to the girl’s, taking her a music book. I talked with her for an hour or two, and she entertained me wonderfully - when I returned and got something to eat, I went to church.

Mr Douglas, the minister, after having gone through all the ceremonies which belong to this church (which were, incidentally, very interesting to me), preached a very practical and profound sermon. The girl was there, and as I passed her on the stairs which lead to the gallery I saw her standing on the steps. It was a very awkward manoeuver to approach her and ask for her company to another service.

But I accomplished it casually, and she could not refuse. We went at once to another church, chatting and enjoying ourselves marvellously. She fascinated me. I remembered my previous love. What a charming girl. If I could once more press my lips on hers and draw from them my soul’s satisfaction! We returned in the evening talking all the time but more gravely than before. We arrived at the door, I entered with her, she lit a lamp and we sat down together talking, but I could not keep myself from feasting my eyes ardently and with intensity on the object of beauty and attraction at my side. Girl, I thought, if you were true to me what a happy man I should be! I took the hand which I loved, and looked at it. We spoke little more from that moment, while I looked steadily at her face and was conquered.

I could no longer keep my place. Leaning forward I received her sweet and tender form in my arms and in an instant her face was covered with kisses. What a sublime scene! Who could have words to express my emotions?

And there we bathed ourselves in the passion of love until the crowing of cocks announced it was day.’

Young Ward’s passion


John Dearman Birchall,

‘Ann has a letter giving account of poor Cobb’s lamentable suicide in the Barnsley Canal. She had first tried to be run over on the rails. Our cooks have not been fortunate. Mrs Dyson an incurable; Jane died from cancer and now Mrs Cobb committing suicide.’

The tricycle diaries


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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.

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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.

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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, usually several every week. The blog has been publishing for over five years, and is the secondary source for the diary extracts in this online anthology.