And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

22 July

1726
Benjamin Franklin,
politician

‘Yesterday in the afternoon we left London, and came to an anchor off Gravesend about eleven at night. I lay ashore all night, and this morning took a walk up to the Windmill Hill, from whence I had an agreeable prospect of the country for above twenty miles round, and two or three reaches of the river, with ships and boats sailing both up and down, and Tilbury Fort on the other side, which commands the river and passage to London. This Gravesend is a cursed biting place; the chief dependence of the people being the advantage they make of imposing upon strangers. If you buy anything of them, and give half what they ask, you pay twice as much as the thing is worth. Thank God, we shall leave it tomorrow.’

Founding Father Franklin

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1757
Robert Lester,
diplomat

‘This Morning, at break of day, we left the above Town, and now we are come into a wide River, we meet with great numbers of Boats, loaded with Plunder, belonging to the King of Ava, taken at Pegu, and I am informed going up to Prone, Ava, &c. and that the King is not far from us. At 3 this Afternoon, we came to a small Town, on the bank of the River, where we found the King, in his Barge, with great numbers of other Boats attending him: Antonio waited on the King, to acquaint him I was come, and, at 5 o’clock, a Messenger came from Antonio to acquaint me, that the King would give me Audience to-morrow morning and that it was the King’s Desire I should send the Present by the Messenger, which I delivered.’

An audience with Alaungpaya

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1840
Letitia Hargrave,
wife of colonist

‘Went on deck before 8am to see a large ice berg. Miss Allan describes it as being like a hay stack. It was about 160 feet above water and an oblong square plenty of ice all round.’

York Factory lady

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1941
George Barker,
poet

‘The grammar of glorification is demonstrated at the flick of her head in the candlelight and at her smile the foundation of vocal admiration collapses in the magnificat. Mythology, in a poverty of raiment, cannot clothe her and god almighty on his throne of grace serves only to adorn the ring on her little finger. O my Canadian!’

O God George, can’t you see

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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.

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.