And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

24 August

1748
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

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1885
John Dearman Birchall,
businessman

‘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

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1912
Reginald Marsh,
artist

‘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

**************************************************************************************

1917
Nicholas II,
emperor

‘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

**************************************************************************************

1918
Michael Macdonagh,
journalist

‘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

**************************************************************************************

1925
Richard E. Byrd,
explorer

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

Flying over the Poles

**************************************************************************************

1936
Cecil Beaton,
photographer

‘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

**************************************************************************************

1976
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

**************************************************************************************

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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.

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, 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.