And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

3 August

1833
William Gladstone,
prime minister

‘German lesson and worked alone. . . Attended Mr Wilberforce’s funeral; it brought solemn thoughts, particularly about the slaves. This a burdensome question.’

An account book of time

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1885
John William Horsley,
priest

‘Of nine fresh cases on the female side I find one is 18, one 19, two 20, one 21, and the average age of all nine is only 25.

A lad, aged 19, spends four shillings in fourpenny ale, and then after midnight runs out with his baby, aged 13 months, and tries to drown himself and it. His wife was a rope-ground girl, and aged 15 at her marriage. A stalwart, intellectual, and good living race is likely to arise from such parentage!

The next case to which I come is that of a lad of 17 who has attempted suicide. How? I got into a pond. Why? Because I wanted to go to sea. This sounds humorous, but it turns out that he was trying to frighten his parents into acquiescence with his wishes. [. . .]

A rescue-worker complains to me of how Bank Holiday upsets girls who have hitherto been quiet and contented in Homes. It is commonly observed. The memories of drinks and “larks” attached to that day will come crowding in.’

State-created crime

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

1886
Elizabeth Lee,
young woman

‘Baked today. Mr. Rimmington and J. Carless came up tonight on a double tricycle and they gave me such a jolly ride on it up and down the road.’

A jolly double tricycle ride

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

1914
Robert Charles Benchley,
writer and actor

‘A depression seems hanging over everything that is ominous - reflected from Europe where all the progress of 100 years is going to smash. H. G. Wells wrote better than he knew. But if any one is to lose, I hope that it is Germany and Austria, on whose aggressive brutality rests the blame.’

I hope not a ‘what it was’

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

1914
Michael Macdonagh,
journalist

‘[Sir Edward] Grey [Foreign Secretary] on rising got a prolonged cheer from both sides of the House, and he stood at the Table - tall and erect in his light summer suit - until the applause had subsided and the House settled down silently to listen. He spoke in a steady, even, passionless voice. It was a plain statement of the events that had led to the crisis, to which the tremendous issue - Peace or War? - imparted a solemn seriousness. Nor was he long in coming to the point. Great Britain was pledged to maintain the integrity of Belgium under the Treaty signed by the Powers in 1839. [. . .] If there was to be a war, he said, Great Britain would suffer terribly. But if we were to stand aside it would mean the loss of our self-respect, and at the end of the War, we should find ourselves powerless to prevent Europe falling under the domination of one Power, to our undoing.’

The drama of London in WWI

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

1969
Don Kazimir,
sailor and submarine captain

‘Approximately 120 miles east of Cape Hatteras; we drifted at shallow depths. Our drift speed has increased to close to 3 knots. J. Piccard caught a salp in the plankton sampler.’

The deeper you delve

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

1977
Philip Toynbee,
writer

‘How absurd it seems to me now, all that ‘humane’ outcry against ECT: as if a few electric shocks administered to an anaesthetized patient were more of an ‘outrage against the person’ than cutting open his stomach and removing his appendix. If the treatment works, as indeed it does in many cases, no experienced depressive is going to worry about the reason why.’

Toynbee and depression

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

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And so made significant . . .
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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.

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.