And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

24 August

Conrad Weiser,
farmer and Indian negotiator

‘Found a dead Man on the Road who had killed himself by Drinking too much Whisky; the Place being very stony we cou’d not dig a Grave; He smelling very strong we covered him with Stones & Wood & went on our Journey; came to the 10 Mile Lick, 32 Miles.’

Weiser goes to Ohio


John Benn Walsh,
politician and landowner

‘We went with Mr & Mrs Gabbett & their family on the lake in a boat. I once before visited this lake with poor Digby in 1824. We had a fine day & enjoyed our excursion very much. In the evening we heard a singular concert, a blind Irish piper of the name of Gantsey & his son accompanying him on the violin. He was really a wonderful performer & drew sounds from his Irish pipes which quite surprised us. He was a fine old man, full of taste & enthusiasm in his art, & put me quite in mind of Wandering Willie in Redgauntlet. But Gantsey is a celebrated person in his way, & two years ago he travelled to Edinburgh & gave a concert at which he realised £50. The Irish bagpipe is far softer than the Scotch.’

An infinity of petty squabbles


John Dearman Birchall,

‘Garden Party at the Doringtons at Lypiatt Park. We took the Greens and enjoyed a very pleasant expedition. It took us nearly two hours with barouche going by Stroud - a mistake - returning Miserden way; it was a most superb day and the company numbered over 200, all the best people in the county, and the Greens were much struck with the beauty of the place and agreeable party and the picturesque country.’

The tricycle diaries


Reginald Marsh,

‘Swim at Warren’s this morning and it was so rough that we couldn’t go off the rocks. I nearly climbed to the top of the water tower down by the pond while Lloyd & Bill were fishing. At 5:30 there was a driving match on the golf course to see who could drive the farthest. I saw it. Bill goes hunting for woodchucks and water birds. I went with him this morning.’

Pictures and vaudeville


Nicholas II,

‘It was a nice day. V. N. Derevenko and his family arrived and that was the biggest thing that had happened for days. Unfortunately, bad news from the front was confirmed. We learned that Riga still stood but that our army had retreated far into the northeast.’

Hope remains above all


Michael Macdonagh,

‘A monster petition to the Government forthwith to intern every enemy alien without distinction of any kind, and take drastic steps to eradicate all German influence in Government circles and society, was adopted at a meeting in Hyde Park this afternoon, which I reported, and was brought to 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s house. The petition had 1,250,000 signatures. It was over two miles in length. Rolled up like a big drum it was carried from Hyde Park to Downing Street in a lorry decorated with the Union Jack, the Stars and Stripes, the French Tricolour and the flags of other allied nations. It was escorted by a procession with bands and banners almost as long as itself and of so diversified a composition as to be possible only in London in War-time.’

The drama of London in WWI


Richard E. Byrd,

‘Laying in Booth Sound on account of bad weather.’

Flying over the Poles


Cecil Beaton,

‘It was on one of these mornings that the breakfast tray brought with it a fatal telegram: ‘Daddy gravely ill. Come.’ In a flash, everything changed. My mood, my life, the colour of the room, the significance of everything altered.

Since I was very small, I had always wondered what would happen if one of my parents died. The mere contemplation of such an event brought tears to my eyes. Now it had materialised in absentia, and it hurt sufficiently for me to cry.

In a few minutes I got through to London on the telephone. My mother was suffering greatly, and wailed hysterically for me to come. My father had died of a heart attack at dawn.’

Nerves before a sitting


Odd Nansen,

‘Today I’ve taken in my “big wash.” I boiled and washed my clothes yesterday, and this evening they were dry and fine and clean, and I still haven’t begun to use one extra change of underclothes. I’m doing first-rate. Tomorrow I must try and get my socks darned. They’re having a hard time.

I forgot to say that yesterday we bathed in the brook under guard. Bathed is a strong expression; the brook isn’t more than half a meter [20 inches] wide and hasn’t much water in it, but still it flows, and one can get wet all over if one turns about. Per Krohg painted a sketch of that scene. He showed me another preliminary sketch: Divine Service. That may be grand. Otherwise he’s busy painting for the Tot-Baurat [construction superintendent], who nosed him out in the list of prisoners, embezzled him and set him to painting pictures. Now he behaves as if he owned Per Krohg, hide and hair. Everything Per does is the Baurat’s property, but he has his time to himself, goes about without a guard, and I think really he’s thriving on it. He has become enthusiastic over a couple of subjects, and manages to hide away enough sketches for them. Yesterday he became a grandfather, or was it today? He’s coping splendidly with this life.

The tobacco shortage is glaring, and beyond all comparison the thing that darkens prison life most. And there are small prospects of getting any for a long time. Several are bartering their watches and valuables for a little tobacco. Some of the civilian workers are turning the situation to good account. The Poles and Czechs are not backward either. One or two decent German guards give me a pinch of tobacco or a cigarette now and then. I’m almost over the worst now. But it is a severe privation. Good night!’

What darkens prison life


Francis Burton Harrison,

‘Quezon, whom I had not seen for nearly a month, looks well but complains that he cannot make any great effort; and that his blood pressure is still very high. He spends most of the day in a silk dressing wrapper. He was closeted in his room for some time with Carlos Romulo, whom he afterwards characterized to me as politically “foolish” but adds that Romulo is a man who carries out everything entrusted to him.’

Philippine hero’s birth date


Michael Palin,
comedian and writer

‘Chasing up and down corridors. A bit of sub-Errol Flynn work. Anti-swashbuckling. To be actually living these childhood dreams and fantasies - and getting paid handsomely for them - I have to pinch myself mentally to be sure its happening. Fifteen years ago Graham [Stuart-Harris] and I were lapping up all the films, good or bad, that hit Sheffield, and now here I am making the bloody things.

Eric (complete with specially printed T-shirt ’Jabberwocky - The New Python Movie’) and Susie the wet-lipped Aussie model, came to see us on set. Eric brought me a signed advance copy of the book which he says has already had massive re-orders, The Rutland Dirty Weekend Book (containing three pages by M Palin!), to be released next month. It’s a lavish production job - a combination of the Goodies and Python book designs over the last four years, but fused and improved.

I feel that it pre-empts more Python books - a particular area of comic book design has been capped by the Rutland book - and if the Python ‘periodical’ which is being heavily sold to us by Eric, is to be the work of these same designers, I fear it will look unoriginal - and that Python, far from creating a bandwagon, will appear to be climbing on one.

Sit in the sun and read more of The Final Days, chase up a few more corridors.’

Cleese, also in a bikini


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.