And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

17 July

Carl Linnaeus,

‘In the morning we arrived at the abode of Mr. Kock, the under bailiff, where I could not but admire the fairness of the bodies of these dark-faced people, which rivalled that of any lady whatever.

Here I saw some Leming Rats, called in Lapland Lummick. The body of these animals is grey; face and shoulders black; the loins blackish; tail, as well as ears, very short. They feed on grass and reindeer-moss (Lichen rangiferinus), and are not eatable. They live, for the most part, in the alps; but in some years thousands of them come down into the woodland countries, passing right over lakes, bogs, and marshes, by which great numbers perish. They are by no means timid, but look out, from their holes, at passengers, like a dog. They bring forth five or six at a birth. Their burrows are about half a quarter (of an ell ?) deep.

Here I found the little Gentian, or Centaury, with a hyacinthine flower in five notched segments (Gentiana nivalis).’

Father of modern taxonomy


James Calhoun,

‘The command moved at 5 o’clock. Two more rattlesnakes added to the family. Saw an Indian trail.

In full view of the Black Hills.

Two extensive fires from the direction of the Black Hills - at midnight the very heavens seemed on fire. Marched 18 miles. Arrived at Camp No. 16. No wood, very little water.’

Calhoun in the Black Hills


Francis Turner Palgrave,
civil servant and poet

‘We took the children to ‘The Merchant of Venice’ for the second time. Irving’s Shylock seemed to me a fine and true rendering of Shakespeare’s intention - viz. the mediaeval Jew a little raised in dignity and humanity. The Terry Portia was generally admirable. This play gains, certainly, immensely by representation . . , the sort of tradition which gives Shylock the protagonist, if not the hero part, is amply justified. . . I certainly think that those who cannot see that Irving gave a very powerful, and Miss Terry a very beautiful, interpretation, and that the piece as a whole was a thoroughly ‘adequate’ representation of what Shakespeare meant, must never expect to be satisfied by human art.’

Professor of poetry


Michael Macdonagh,

‘For the first time since the outbreak of the War the streets of London were brightened to-day with colour and beauty. It was a dramatic and very moving procession of women through the West End offering Lloyd George, who has been appointed to the specially created office of Minister of Munitions in the National Government, the help of women in the making of war materials and other forms of national work. The organisers were Mrs Pankhurst and the other ladies who were prominent in the late Suffragette agitation - that militant movement for the franchise in which women displayed such amazing audacity, resourcefulness and exuberance.’

The drama of London in WWI


Alexander Cadogan,
civil servant

‘Not much doing in the morning. 4.45 talk with A. and others about Turkey. In view of Soviet (and U.S.) attitude, I think we must press them to declare war. But there are many considerations against. 5.30 Cabinet, which is becoming more and more rambling, disorderly and voluble. News not bad, but not v. good. What are we doing in Normandy - with 1,229,000 men and a mass of material (255,000 vehicles! Over a million tons of stores!) Maybe we have plan. There is no inkling of it. Cabinet agreed we must go for the Turks coming into war. I slipped away at 8.10! Cabinet having several other items to take. P.M. is evidently ageing, and the rambling talk is frightful. Whatever little the Cabinet settled would have been settled in 7 mins. under Neville Chamberlain.’

Went to see P.M. (in bed)


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And so made significant . . .
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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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