And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

18 January

John Manningham,

‘I rode with my cosen’s wife to Maidstone; dyned at Gellibrands.

As we were viewinge a scull in his studye, he shewed the seame in the middle over the heade, and said that was the place which the midwife useth shutt in women children before the wit can enter, and that is a reason that women be such fooles ever after.

My cosen shee said that the Gellibrands two wives lived like a couple of whelpes togither, meaninge sporting, but I sayd like a payre of turtles, or a couple of connies, sweetely and lovingly.

Mr. Alane, a minister, was very sicke. Gellibrand gave him a glyster, and lett him bloud the same day, for a feuer; his reason was, that not to have lett him bloud had bin verry dangerous; but to lett bloud is doubtfull, it may doe good as well as harme.

My cosen shee told me, that when shee was first married to hir husband Marche, as shee rode behinde him, shee slipt downe, and he left hir behinde, never lookt back to take hir up; soe shee went soe long a foote that shee tooke it soe unkindly that shee thought neuer to have come againe to him, but to haue sought a service in some vnknowne place; but he tooke hir at last.

Wee were at Mrs Cavils, when she practised some wit upon my cosen. Cosen she called double anemonies double enimies.’

Shakespeare’s name William


Claver Morris,

‘I made some Lemon-Butter for my Perukes. Henry Coxe Sold me his Estate at West-Bradley for 400L, & I gave him 5 Guineas in Earnest, & we afterwards Executed a Covenant of this Bargain, at the Crown-Inn.’

Cough, spitting, and fever


Caroline Powys,

‘At court on the Queen’s birth-night, her Majesty dressed in buff satin, trimmed with the sable just made her a present of by the Empress of Russia. The Princess of Brunswick was there, coming on a visit to her mother, then ill. We used to think her, though not handsome, a good figure, but she is now grown so fat and plain, that, tho’ cover’d with jewels, I never saw a woman that look’d more unfashionable.’

Such interesting anecdotes


Francis Rawdon-Hastings,

‘Our lionesses were measured last night; one was nine feet four inches from the nose to the tip of the tail; the other two inches less. In such a measurement the tail of the lion furnishes less than that of the tiger to the general amount. Anxious interest, as had been the case on a former occasion, was made with our servants for a bit of the flesh, though it should be of the size of a hazel-nut. Every native in the camp, male or female, who was fortunate enough to get a morsel, dressed it and eat it. They have a thorough conviction that the eating a piece of lion’s flesh strengthens the constitution incalculably, and is a preservative against many particular distempers. This superstition does not apply to tiger’s flesh, though the whiskers and claws of that animal are considered as very potent for bewitching people.’

Meeting lionesses


Richard Henry Dana Jr.,

‘Nothing talked of but Dickens’ arrival. The town is mad. All calling on him. I shan’t go unless sent for. I can’t submit to sink the equality of a gentleman by crowding after a man of note.’

The slurs of vessel owners


Mary Boykin Chesnut,
wife of political aide

‘Our Congress is so demoralized, so confused, so depressed. They have asked the President, whom they have so hated, so insulted, so crossed and opposed and thwarted in every way, to speak to them, and advise them what to do.’

Chesnut’s Civil War diary


Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff,

‘The worst day I ever saw in London, or anywhere else, except when I crossed the Cenis in December 1860. My wife, who was coming up to London from High Elms, was happily sent back by the station-master at Orpington, and only regained the house with great difficulty; the carriage being almost stopped in the deep wreaths of snow.’

Good-natured books


Alfred Edgar Coppard,

‘My mother’s gossip grows voluminous, she’s quite a character. “You know Alf when I was up there, I used to tell them gals so, whatever it was [.] They used to say ‘Why Coppard’s a jolly old witch, that she is’. And s’elp me bob, its just the same with politics [.] “ Her[e] her garrulity develops [.]? “I says to Mis Hillman, well, I says, so & so, and so & so & there it is. Yes, I see, she says [.] Ive never ‘ad it put before me in that way before. She’s a Roman Catholic but I says there’s nothing to beat a good ole Liberal” (at this point I shut my book & exhibit a sort of rebellious interest) [.] “I was just the same when I first got married, but your poor ole dad, he used to get me up in such a corner & fair beat it into me ‘e did; he used to drive me clean off me rocker & make me understand all about it” (I make a comprehending inclination of my superior head, & suffer mutely) [.] “The things never used to be so dear: when ole Gladdy was in he made everything cheap & paid up all the Natural debts & saved any amount of money, any amount that there ole Gladdy saved. And then the Queen must go and send for that beautiful Beaconsfield, & what with the wars & the things, he spent every blooming farthing he did that poor old Gladdy ‘ad saved, Alf. And the country kicked up bobs-a-dying, & was in such a uproar that the Queen had to send for old Gladdy to come back. But e wouldn’t go; e said he wouldn’t go, & move e never did” (a pause, chockful of unearthly things) [.] “There was, Sir “Something” Bright, too, e rebuked the corn bills, & give us a cheap loaf”. (the latter achievement constitutes a transcendental feature of all her favorite statemen) Sir Somethings “rebuke” assaulted my reserve & I subsided.’

Prize money for books


Breckinridge Long,

‘Today may be epoch marking in the history of the World. The Peace Conference opened its sessions in Paris with the representatives of the civilized world assembled around the board. It is announced there that the League of Nations will be one of the first - the first - number in the order of business. President Wilson has won the first of his fights, and will no doubt prevail in establishing a League. It is necessary to the successful work of the Congress that the Nations represented should be in accord. How then could they be bound except by a League? Reverting to the Democratic platform of 1916 it is evident the President had in mind early in 1916 the general terms of peace and the evolution of a League of Nations. He has worked skillfully toward that object ever since.’

The League is the solution


Alexander Berkman,

‘Crossing snow-clad country. Cars cold, unheated. The compartments are locked, with Finnish guards on every platform. Even within are the White soldiers, at every door. Silent, forbidding looking. They refuse to enter into conversation.

2 P. M. - In Viborg. We are practically without food. The Finnish soldiers have stolen most of the products given us by the Buford.

Through our car windows we noticed a Finnish worker standing on the platform and surreptitiously signaling us with a miniature red flag. We waved recognition. Half an hour later the doors of our car were unlocked, and the workman entered to “fix the lights,” as he announced. “Fearful reaction here,” he whispered; “White terror against the workers. We need the help of revolutionary Russia.”

Wired again today to Tchicherin and Shatov, urging haste in sending a committee to meet the deportees on the Russian border.’

Exhibition of intolerance


James Chuder Ede,

‘. . . The P.M. strolled nonchalantly past me into the House. His progress was accompanied by loud, long and joyous cheers, every member in the House, except a few on the Front Opposition Bench, rising. Needless to say, he had another warm reception when he answered his first question. He had a long list. Herbert Williams, in a supplementary about the Italian campaign, asked if Montgomery’s speech some weeks [ago] had not caused false optimism. The P.M. drily, and brusquely, retorted: ‘I don’t know about false optimism; there’s been a lot of bad weather. . .’

The Chuder Ede diaries


Eric Morecambe,

‘Today I was asked to become President of Kimpton Players. It sounds like a football team, but it’s a group of amateur actors and actresses who do local shows for charity. It should be quite interesting. They are doing an old time music hall show in a few weeks time, so I’ll be getting a party together and going along. Ern and I had a meeting with our writers, Sid Green and Dick Hills, at Roger Hancock’s office. We went to talk over a film idea for this coming summer. After a few drinks, conversation loosened up and Sid and Dick came out with the idea of doing a film about gypsies, where Ern and I are something to do with the council, and we have the job of moving them on, off the land that they are on. Although they had a few good situations within the film I could see Ern was not too happy about it, and I must admit I wasn’t jumping for joy. It’s a good idea, but it’s an idea anyone could do. It’s not pure Morecambe & Wise. Over lunch I happened to mention an offbeat idea I had for a film, which all thought funny. At that point Sid said that if that was the type of film we were thinking in terms of, he was all for it. So it looks as if we may after all be doing a type of film that we are all keen to do. The boys went off to write it up. We meet again next week.’

Hammers inside my head


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.