And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

1 July

Pierre de l’Estoile,

‘On Sunday, the first day of July, in the great church Notre Dame in Paris, a solemn vow was taken taken in the name of the whole city, to Notre Dame de Lorette that if the city were delivered from the siege, they would present a silver lamp, and other ornaments. . . There was such a crowd at this occasion that a poor pregnant woman was suffocated in the mob, with her child.’

The Pepys of Paris?


William Hedges,

‘The Ship Britania, ,belongmg to Mr Dowglass, &ca, from ye Maldiva Islands, arrived before ye Factory, bringing advice of ye Charles (a Ship belonging to ye Hon Company) arrivall there: and that at their first going ashore, their first salutation from ye Natives was a shower of Stones and

Arrows, whereby 6 of their Men were wounded, which made them immediately return on board, and by ye Mouths of their Guns forced them to a complyance, and permission to load what Cowries they would at Markett Price: so that in a few dayes time they sett sayle from thence for Surrat with above 60 Tunn of Cowryes.’

He came to us starke naked


Richard Hurrell Froude,

‘I have got into a bad way, by writing down the number of hours. It makes me look at my watch constantly, to see how near the time is up, and gives me a sort of lassitude, and unwillingness to exert my mind.

I think it will be a bettor way to keep a journal for a bit, as I find I want keeping in order about more things than reading. I am in a most conceited way, besides being very ill-tempered and irritable. My thoughts wander very much at my prayers, and I feel hungry for some ideal thing, of which I have no definite idea. I sometimes fancy that the odd bothering feeling which gets possession of me is affectation, and that I appropriate it because I think it a sign of genius; but it lasts too long, and is too disagreeable, to be unreal. There is another thing which I must put down, if I don’t get rid of it before long: it is a thing which proves to me the imbecility of my own mind more than anything; and I can hardly confess it to myself; but it is too true.’

I have been relapsing


James A. Garfield,

‘This opening of the Fiscal Year, and day before my trip to New England, has been very full of work. Appointed very nearly 25 ministers and consuls. Dismissed French, the R. R. Commissioner, in consequence of his sending an official letter to the President of the Pacific R.R. instead of his superior officer. Also called for the resignation of the Register of Wills. Appointed Walker Blaine 3rd Ass’t Sec’y of State. He is a bright and able young man and I wanted to compliment both him and his father. Brown returned today, greatly refreshed by his European trip. Cousin Cordelia died today, of the R.R. injuries rec’d when Uncle Thomas was killed. Retired at 12.’

Feeling greatly dissatisfied


George Bernard Shaw,

‘Art and Literature Dinner at the Mansion House. Left the Mansion House with Norman, with whom I walked to Blackfriars. I could not eat; my feelings as a musician and vegetarian were too much for me; and save for some two or three pounds of ice pudding I came away empty.’

GBS dines out


Anna Klumpke,

‘After the sitting this afternoon, Rosa Bonheur stretched out on her lounge chair for a smoke while I kept on working. She scolded me for rushing: ‘Ah! that Miss Anna! she doesn’t ever stop. True, I used to be like that. Now I tend to dawdle, doing less but thinking more. Also, I did more studies. I didn’t just start a huge canvas without having gathered all the documents I needed.’

She watched me wipe my palette and went on: ‘I don’t work like that. I never wipe it off till I’ve scraped with a knife and poured on some turpentine. That way the wood stays clean. This palette, for example, looks practically new, yet God knows how long I’ve been using it for skies. Take it for your touchups. I’ll even sign it for you.

She grabbed a brush and wrote: ‘A souvenir for Anna Klumpke. May my palette bring you good luck. Rosa Bonheur.’ ’

Let the paint dry


Ernst Jünger,
soldier and writer

‘In the morning I went to the village church where the dead were kept. Today there were 39 simple wooden boxes and large pools of blood had seeped from almost every one of them, it was a horrifying sight in the emptied church.’

Storm of Steel


Rosamond Jacob,

‘We met at the Mansion Hs. in the morning [. . .]. The mayor and the archbishop were going to the republican leaders then, to represent their share in the general damage and cruelty and see what conditions they wd agree to a truce.

Then, the more or less F.S. women, [. . .] went to interview the government, and came back reporting as follows - They spoke of the sufferings of the people and need for peace and got the usual sort of answers from Griffith, Collins and Cosgrave. Cosgrave seemed anxious for the Dail to meet and said it cd be summoned for Tuesday but Griffith nudged him to make him shut up. Miss B. and Mme. McB. asked wd they let the R.s evacuate without giving up arms - Griffith said no, they must give up their arms. Mme McBride said that they certainly would not do, and that it wd be better to let them go with their arms than to shell the city. They were firm on this (tho Collins said he didn’t know why the R.s didn’t go home with their arms now, as there seemed nothing to stop them) and Griffith said the lives of all the ministers were in the greatest danger.

The deputation (W.W. and A.F. anyhow) seemed rather favourably impressed by the 3. The mayor and the archbishop went to the government later, and were told much the same, only they seemed more resolute against calling the Dail then. It didn’t seem much use sending a deputation to the R.s, but Miss Bennett said it wd be very unfair not to - shd at least show them there were some R. women who wanted peace, and not put all the burden of guilt on the government [. . .]. We were taken in a motor ambulance to the back of the Hammam hotel, and let into a kind of back, outhouse place full of men and petrol tins and bicycles and step ladders and boxes and general impedimenta. Doctors and nurses and soldier and messengers went in and out all the time. The men were mostly not in uniform, they all had big revolvers in leather cases and military belts. Some looked dead tired, and all of course were untidy and unshaved, but all seemed in good humour. Most were young, but not all. After waiting a while, Oscar Traynor, then commanding in Dublin, was fetched to us, and Hanna and Miss B. tackled him. He was in a sort of semi-military dark suit, with a revolver in a belt, and the Sacred Heart badge in his button-hole. He is quite young, tall and slim, with the same type of long refined thoughtful refined face as De Valera, though much better looking.

He represented their position as purely defensive, said they were not the aggressors. “we’re digging ourselves in here, and if they attack us we’ll defend ourselves”. He said they wd be willing to evacuate but not to surrender arms of course, and I think he said they had made the offer to the other side (whom he spoke of as “these people”). Asked wd they suspend hostilities if the Dail met early this week, he said that was for O’Connor and Mellowes to say, but probably they wd if the other side wd observe the truce. Informed of what Collins had said (that they were fools not to melt away with their arms now) he said they could put no faith in what anything Collins said. His attitude of utter disbelief in the faith of “these people” was depressing, being so exactly what the other side would say about them. Mrs J. and I took no share in the talk. I went for the interest of the thing and had nothing to say of my own; and he looked so tired and worn that I didn’t want to lengthen the conversation anyhow. His eyes looked dead sleepy, he could hardly keep them open. He was very nice in his manner - quiet and civil and friendly. He spoke as if they meant to do nothing aggressive, and not as if the affair was any sort of fun to him. We were all favourably struck with him, and impressed with his talk just as the other deputation were with Collins, Griffith and Cosgrave.’

Galvanised by debate


John F. Kennedy,

‘I had dinner with William Douglas-Home, former Captain in the British army, third son of Earl of Home, cashiered and sentenced to a year in jail for refusal to fire on __ at LeHavre. He is quite confident that his day will come after his disgrace has passed, and he quotes Lord Beaverbrook to the effect that some day he will be Prime Minister to England. Like Disraeli he is extremely confident. He feels that by insisting on the doctrine of “Unconditional Surrender” instead of allowing Germany and Russia both to remain of equal strength, we made it possible for Russia to obtain that very dominance that we fought Germany to prevent her having. He feels that we had a great opportunity for a balance of power policy.

For my own part, I think that only time can tell whether he was right, but I doubt that William Home will ever meet much success because people distrust those who go against convention. And furthermore, prowess in war is still deeply respected. The day of the conscientious objector is not yet at hand.’

JFK‘s diary strikes gold


Miles Franklin,

‘Showery day again. Big fire all day. Returned to essay but the discomfort of cold and chilblains kept me from accomplishing any but a page or two. Solitary confinement all day, not even a telephone call in or out.’

Couldn’t you get married now?


Hermann Buhl,

‘Camp 4

Set off for Camp 4 at 6 a.m., Walter, Hans and I with three porters. Otto stays at Camp 3 for another day. He does not feel very well and wants to rest up for another day and follow on with Madi the next day. Wonderful weather, no clouds as far as you can see, haze in the valley, best indication of a lasting period of good weather. Minus 20 degrees in the morning, deep snow, difficult to break trail.

Three walkie-talkie calls with Base Camp. Order to retreat; we should rest and then follow new orders for attack. Do not say what those orders are. We don’t even consider climbing down, we’ve never been in such good shape.

Aschenbrenner still at Base Camp. He’s still officially the mountaineering leader, although he handed the task over to Walter days ago. Conversations with a very agitated Ertl end with the message “kiss my arse,” and we continue. Ertl makes us aware that they will have cause to thank us one day . . . Midday at Camp 4. Totally snowed up, first have to dig everything out, very arduous. Then Hans and I each take a 100 m rope and climb up the Rakhiot Face with them, fix them on the traverse to the Moor’s Head and climb down again, while Walter busies himself with the porters, fitting crampons, etc. Back at Camp 4 again at 7 p.m. Slept well all night.’

Scenery fantastic - like home


Carolina Maria de Jesus,
rubbish collector

‘I am sick and tired of the favela. I told Senhor Manuel that I was going through hard times. The father of Vera is rich, he could help me a little. He asked me not to reveal his name in the diary, and I won’t. He can count on my silence. And if I was one of those scandalous blacks, and went there to his office and made a scene? “Give me some money for your child!” ’

There’s nothing to eat


Clare Short,

‘TB said in ’97, no one must think ‘we are masters now’. We must focus on our duty to serve - or something similar. The reality of his behaviour is ‘I am master now’. There is a complete arrogance in the way he runs the government and No. 10. My experience of it recently in his effort to press us to misuse and to get asylum seekers returned to their countries is a minor example but very much the style of his government.’

No. 10 hostile to me


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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.

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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.

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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.