And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

31 July

Thomas Rumney,

‘Settled with Joseph Todd up to this day, when I received a balance of £4-5-0. The rent of the whole five Tenements from Lady Day last is £125-0-0 per annum with the deduction of £5 and cost of 10 Cart Loads of Lime, say £2 more, making £7 at which rate £118 will be the rent commencing at Lady Day last.’

Weeding quicks


Gideon Mantell,
doctor and fossil hunter

‘Tuesday - Drove with my dear boy to Brighton Races; visited a menagerie: took tea with Mr Chassereau and returned home early. Dr Hopkins and his lady, from London, visited us yesterday.’

Gideon Mantell - geologist


William Gladstone,

‘Hallam breakfasted with me. . . . Committee on West India bill finished. . . German lesson.’

An account book of time


Edward Pease,

‘Went to Southampton and had a welcome reception from my cousins, Rolles Driver and Sarah. Had to regret in this family a departure from simplicity in speech, furniture and attire. Whilst much of sincerity of desire may dwell in the bosoms of those who possess and do these things my belief is that the spirit of truth as lived in and obeyed, would do away with all connected with this part of the pride of life and so refine the spirit that its enjoyment would be, etc.’

Father of the Railways


Sophia Tolstoy,
wife of writer

‘It makes me laugh to read my diary. What a lot of contradictions - as though I were the unhappiest of women!. But who could be happier? Could any marriage be more happy and harmonious than ours? When I am alone in my room I sometimes laugh for joy and cross myself and pray to God for many, many more years of happiness. I always write my diary when we quarrel. There are still days when we quarrel, but this is because of various subtle emotional reasons, and we wouldn’t quarrel if we didn’t love each other. I have been married six years now, but I love him more and more. He often says it isn’t really love, but we have grown so used to each other we cannot be separated. But I still love him with the same poetic, fevered, jealous love, and his composure occasionally irritates me.’ [This is the only entry for 1868 in the published diaries.]

He was my diary


Lytton Strachey,

‘Mama, Pernie, Marjorie Jembeau and I went to the kitchen garden and had three strawberrys each. Directly after dinner Uncle Bartle and Aunt Ethel went away. In the morning Pat and I rode on the pony. In the afternoon Mama and I went to Loch An Eilan we were caught in a shower and had to go in to Mrs Grant. As we were going back we went into Mrs Mitchel. After that we met all the others and Marjorie went back with us we called on the Miss Martineaus and went round their garden then we had cricket with the Fosters.’

Strachey's new biography


Reginald Marsh,

‘I took an early morning plunge and worked nearly all of the morning. Bill came down and we took a swim off the float and afterwards watched the other kids go off. In the afternoon he and I went to the Commons and watched a ball game between the Little Comptons and the Y.M.C.A.C’s. Little Compton beat 4-3. Afterwards there were athletics out in front of the Methodist Church which was having a fair. There were about 30 kids from the Y.M.C.A.C camp in west port. They had 100 yd dash, high and broad jumping, shot put, potato races etc. Gosh whenever one of the country jakes wanted to make tell when to stop he would holler “Whoa, whoa” as if he were a horse. I guess it was so because they are used to driving them.’

Pictures and vaudeville


Charles de Foucauld,

‘This evening reached page 385 of the dictionary.’

From playboy to ascetic


Robert Charles Benchley,
writer and actor

‘The stock markets are closed, and Germany is on the point of declaring war on Russia. Still, I can’t help feeling that things will be straightened out without a general European war.’

I hope not a ‘what it was’


Harold Frederick Shipman,

‘[Wife] - chat, no notes sent in yet. She’s getting no money off the DHSS, supported by the kids. What a terrible set up. How is she coping?’

I’m looking at dying


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.