And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

24 December

Nils GyllenStierna,

‘The road was filled in the morning with men who had frozen to death, with them lay horses, oxen, and other animals. Supply and sick-wagons stood still because their drivers had died by the cold they were still sitting like they were waiting for orders. Now many beautiful men were dead.’

Beautiful men were dead


William Bray,
lawyer and antiquary

‘Such has been the decay in my eyesight the whole of this year that I have not been able to read either print or MS., though I have continued to write letters, as I am writing on this 24th of December. I cannot read it when written. I have also lost my hearing in one ear in a great degree; subject to this, my bodily health has been what may be called good. I have been obliged to pay more than 1,100 pounds by the treachery of a clerk, and the malice of one who had been long attempting, and at last effected a loss of long friendship with Mrs. Wigzell.’

A good state of health


George Sand,

‘And what if I rushed to him when my love is too strong for me. What if I went and broke the bell-pull with ringing, until he opened his door to me. Or if I lay down across the threshold until he came out!’

Sand’s Journal Intime


Henry J. Heinz,

‘I purchased the most extravagant Christmas gift of my life at W. W. Wattles today, a diamond pin (three stones), fine in plain figures, $710, but concluded a woman so modest and kind was deserving of something while I could pay cash and had no debts.’

Caught in the mustard mill


Lady Aberdeen,

‘We had our first service in our dear new little wooden chapel to-day. The men have been working night & day to get it finished by Christmas Day & they have done it. H.E. read prayers this morning & this evening Mr Winfield took the evening service. It is quite simple of varnished pine wood, a dark red drugget on floor, dull red & green windows & chairs for seats. We feel already that it will make all the difference to us. H.E. has put it up entirely himself, although the Government offered to pay, but we wanted no questions about this asked in Parliament. It will cost about $2000 (between £400 & £500) & then there is the little organ to come.

A busy evening preparing Christmas presents & stockings. A white blanket coat trimmed with red makes an excellent costume for Santa Claus to make his rounds - but Archie’s dog “Lady” thought I was a burglar & growled vigorously.’

God save the Queen


Edward Falaise Upward,
teacher and writer

‘Think how the whole world wd be changed for me if I could get on with this novel, even though at no higher level than the present. I see that it was infinitely better to write The Beating, mediocre as that was, than to write nothing. But what’s holding me up anyway? Panic & muddleheadness. I must face up to the thing again with confident determination, with willingness instead of revulsion.’

Panic & muddleheadness


Arthur C. Clarke,

‘Slowly tinkered with the final pages, so I can have them as a Christmas present for Stanley.’

Dreamed I was a robot


Richard Proenneke,
mechanic and naturalist

‘I did a bit of reading of magazines collected during the summer and went through half of my Dec. journal. Pretty tame reading now and I wonder how it will be in a dozen years from now. It would be interesting to reread from April 29 and estimate the miles I have covered since that date. 1,500 would be a real conservative estimate in my mind and I wonder how close I am.

Recently I have been thinking of a good hike on snowshoes and only one thing holds me back and that is perishables freezing in my cabin while I am away. Pack my Eddie Bauer sleeping bag, a tarp, axe and some grub and head for Port Alsworth. I could make it in two days easy enough. Go through Low Pass and down the Kijik to Lachbuna Lake and from the lower end take a sharp left and through a pass to the head of Portage Creek. Down the creek to the lake and travel the lake to Tanalian point and Babe’s bay [Hardenburg Bay]. It would be a good exercise and to return over a broken trail would be a breeze. It would be done after mid Feb. when the days are longer and less chance of things freezing here.’

Sourdough sandwich, caribou ribs


Andy Warhol,

Cabbed up to Jerry and Mick’s apartment for Chnstmas lunch. Jerry’s pregnant sister Cyndy just married Robin Lehman, and so everybody was happy. Jerry’s mother was there. Jerry had an apron on that when you unzippered it a big cock came out, so I was taking funny pictures of that, her cooking a turkey with a cock in her hand.

Earl McGrath was there, and Ahmet Ertegun stopped by for a second. The food was ready at 5:00 but it was supposed to have been ready at 2:00. Everything was great, though, it was the best turkey and everything was fresh, the peas and everything, so I porked it up.

The limo came at 6:30 to take us out to the Guests’. We picked up Barbara Allen who was wearing a green taffeta YSL and then we went to the ‘hem of Harlem’ - that’s what Jerry Zipkin calls his neighborhood - and picked up Jerry and he had Nelson Seabra with him. It was a sit down dinner and the turkey was terrible. It was like canned stuff, and the cranberry sauce was canned and there were eighteen different desserts but none of them were good. I was next to ‘Suzy’ and Bob was next to Liz Smith and Iris Love, and Iris had a kilt on and let me feel if she was wearing underpants. Cornelia looked beautiful.

Then I had to get back to Halston’s in town and it had suddenly dropped from forty degrees to minus fifteen. Halston gave me a green beaded dress to hang in my closet. It’s like a $5,000 dress. It’s his art. But it’s not really my favorite green although it’s a nice green. I would rather have had a red one.

I felt another cold coming on and I wanted to go home to bed, but since the house was empty I didn’t. I gave Halston a chocolate box of art candy that I made, not too great, and a Diamond painting, and I gave Victor a Shoe one. I got home about 1:30 and opened my packages. Reinhold gave me a little TV set, a 2” x 2” Sony Trinitron.’

The Andy Warhol Diaries


Paul K. Lyons,

‘The Pope wishes the world Happy Christmas in 51 languages. The Queen says everyone should add their bit, however small, to the goodness of the world. The UK PM says to the Falkland Islands people that their right is their democracy.’

The Queen and I


Tim Dixon,
economist and businessman

‘I keep telling people - I do feel a lot more like I’m working for the guy who will be Prime Minister. If sheer determination was all that was required I think he’d get the prize. Kevin has an extraordinary, voracious appetite for information and briefings. I have prepared an enormous amount of briefing material for him in the past few days - everything from the Tasmanian forests issues to Commonwealth/State relations to dental health to industrial relations. . .

But this is the difference in the environment of working with Kevin - a lot more energy, a lot more anxiety. And a lot more work. . .’

Working with Kevin


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.