And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

3 January

Francis Edward Witts,

‘Left Upper Slaughter for Bath in the hope that another course of the waters may essentially strengthen my dear wife’s constitution. Having sent forward my manservant and horse we travelled post with Edward and a maid. The weather very cold, frost and snow; more of the latter between home and Cirencester and between Petty France and Bath, than between Cirencester and Petty France. The road very slippery and though a horse fell in the chaise in the streets of Tetbury, we providentially escaped any accident.’

Upper Slaughter’s squire


William Macready,

‘Went home to breakfast. Spent an idle, but in all other respects a happy day. A well-spent day is pleasing while it lasts, and pleasant to remember when for ever gone; a day of mere pleasure is agreeable in its passage, but regret attends its close in the reflection that time which God has given for employment has been squandered, or lost in idleness. Compunction is injurious if unproductive of improvement; let my revision of this day enable me to be more resolute in my resistance of future temptations, and teach me for my own and my children’s good the necessity of blending activity with enjoyment. In my absence from home I am sometimes inclined to question the prudence of living so far from town; but when, on reaching home, I taste the fresh air of the country, look over its extent of prospect, feel in a manner the free range of thought and sense through the expanse of earth and sky surrounding me, I confess to myself, in the delightful sensations I experience, that such enjoyment is worth some sacrifice.’

Acted Macbeth very unequally


Sanford Fleming,

‘At work again, engraving a view of St Peters Church, Cobourg. It is very tedious work. Would rather be in the country chopping. It may be so but one is never content with their present condition.’

Adieu to my youth


Heinrich Hertz,

‘I have a new satchel and a new pen case that I have already used at school, Mama hopes I shall bring home only good reports in the new satchel. I hope so too, but I do not believe it. Yet I will try hard.’

Hertz and his radio waves


August Strindberg,

‘Have been plagued for a couple of months by a smell of Celery; everything tastes and smells of Celery. When I take off my shirt at night it smells of Celery. What can it be?’

H-t was with me


Richard E. Byrd,

‘Is the human race an accidental by-product of the cosmical processes? If God directs us, remaining silent and inscrutable to us, then he means either that he does not want us to know him or he is indifferent or he has made the knowing of him a difficult task.’

Flying over the Poles


John Lowe, miner

‘Tried this afternoon to talk to some of the afternoon shift – as distasteful as it feels, it’s the only fresh tack left open to us. One of the lads talked for fifteen minutes and was really sick of it – he would only promise to think about rejoining us and to talk to his wife. If we could get two or three out again, it would really boost the lads; unfortunately it would take a bloody miracle.

Board and media campaign getting into gear now, with figures of six hundred returns given for the last two days. F***** liars!’

How bloody corrupt


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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.

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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.

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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.