And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

8 July

Pierre de l’Estoile,

‘Thursday, July 8, the heart of the late King Charles was carried to the Célestins in Paris by M. le Duc, his brother, and there interred with all the solemnities and ceremonies usual in such cases.’

The Pepys of Paris?


John Evelyn,

‘I sat for my picture to Mr Kneller, for Mr Pepys, late Secretary to the Admiralty, holding my ‘Sylva’ [his book] in my right hand. It was on his long and earnest request, and is placed in his library. Kneller never painted in a more masterly manner.’

A most excellent person


Richard Newdigate,

‘Rose at five, got out by seven. Rode to Bagshot. Baited. Took Coach. (Mem - Jack Royl rode away Tempest against my order.) Drove to Farnham, ten miles. Then to Alton, seven miles. Drove to Woodcote, eight miles. Went forty-four miles to-day. Was very weary and dry, and drank too much. Went to bed at twelve.’

But I spied crabs


John Adams,

‘In one of my common Walks, along the Edgeware Road, there are fine Meadows, or Squares of grass Land belonging to a noted Cow keeper. These Plotts are plentifully manured. There are on the Side of the Way, several heaps of Manure, an hundred Loads perhaps in each heap. I have carefully examined them and find them composed of Straw, and dung from the Stables and Streets of London, mud, Clay, or Marl, dug out of the Ditch, along the Hedge, and Turf, Sward cutt up, with Spades, hoes, and shovels in the Road. This is laid in vast heaps to mix. With narrow hoes they cutt it down at each End, and with shovels throw it into a new heap, in order to divide it and mix it more effectually. I have attended to the Operation, as I walked, for some time. This may be good manure, but is not equal to mine, which I composed in similar heaps upon my own Farm, of Horse Dung from Bracketts stable in Boston, Marsh Mud from the sea shore and Street Dust, from the Plain at the Foot of Pens hill, in which is a Mixture of Marl.’

A spirit to our honour


Thomas Babington Macaulay,
politician and historian

‘Motley called. I like him much. We agree wonderfully well about slavery, and it is not often that I meet any person with whom I agree on that subject. For I hate slavery from the bottom of my soul; and yet I am made sick by the cant and the silly mock reasons of the Abolitionists. The nigger driver and the negrophile are two odious things to me.’

Such an idle man


Lester Frank Ward,
botanist and sociologist

‘In undertaking a journal of events which concern me, I shall record a few of the most interesting things which have transpired since the fourth of this month. Without further ceremony, then, I commence.

The morning of the Fourth, so memorable to this powerful nation, found me in a state of profound lethargy resulting from much fatigue. I had intended to arise at a much earlier hour to shoot a pistol which I had prepared the night before, but it was so late when I got up that I was ashamed to shoot it. My spirit has been for almost two months the lowest it has ever been in my life, on account of the profound disappointment in the love which I had acquired for a girl, so pretty but so false. I sent her a letter that day, telling her that I wish only to see her once more and to receive only one more letter from her. I procured a half dollar from Mr Owen on the Fourth, with which I bought two strings for my violin, which I enjoy very much.’

Young Ward’s passion


George Henschel,

[Sassnitz on Rügen island] ‘Arrived here last night. The diligence was delayed by one of the heaviest thunderstorms I can remember, and I did not pull up at the little hostelry, which also contains the post office, until half-past eleven; but in spite of the inclemency of the weather and the late hour, Brahms was there to welcome me and we had an hour’s chat in the little coffee-room. Then he returned to his lodgings down in the village, whilst I came up here to the hotel on the Fahrnberg, where, however, to my great delight, Brahms is going to have his mid-day and evening meals regularly.’

In a hammock with Brahms


Tappan Adney,
journalist and photographer

‘Took passage aboard a small side[-]wheel steamer, the David Weston for Fredericton up the river. Next morning, arrived at the capit[a]l. . . I sketched the curious wood boats, two-masted schooners with tremendous sheer forward, loaded on deck with deals so that the hull[s] of the boats were actually submerged, all but the high nose of the bow. They came down wing-and-wing under a northwest breeze. Going back, it is said they make better time than the steamer. Here at Fredericton were the booms with their enormous quantities of logs from up river.

There was a tall bank of sawdust several miles below the city, and I went there and found hundreds of Bank swallows nesting in the face of the heap, which was as hard and firm as a bank of sand. I got several sets of eggs.’

Goose Lane Editions


Dorothy Mackellar
, writer

‘Exeter - Plymouth. Got up late and crawled around the Cathedral. . . Then we went to Plymouth. Another wet cold day, else it would have been a prettier journey. But I always

love motoring, even in the rain. On arriving I promptly went to bed. We none of us were to sleep much that night, for the rooms were light as day and the town unbelievably noisy. . .’

I love a sunburnt country


Pope John Paul II,

‘The following key inner topics have been put together and discussed with the father:
1. death
2. power
3. creativity
4. people.’

A pope's unworldly diaries


Arthur C. Clarke,

‘July 2-8. Averaging one or two thousand words a day. Stanley reads first five chapters and says “We’ve got a best seller here.” ’

Dreamed I was a robot


Paul K. Lyons,

‘. . . I should mention The Stars Look Down. I’m currently reading the novel and find a family called Todd (who do not appear in the film) which is of course my mother’s maiden name . . . And in this [fictional] family I find a Laura Todd and an Adam Todd - Laura and Adam being the very two names we are currently considering for our baby [to be born in the next couple of months]. A. J. Cronin’s book is divided into three books. Yesterday, as I approached the end of Book 1, an enormous thrill filled me for I realised the film was essentially only made from a fraction of the novel. The great disaster scene, which forms the film’s climax, so brilliantly done too, comes at the end of Book 1. A few sub-plots further on have been incorporated - David Fenwick’s discovery of his wife’s adultery, Joe Gowlan’s further rise in society, Fenwick’s dismissal from school. But with two-thirds of the book to go, I can look forward to considerable development and perhaps, just perhaps, a happy rather than a sad ending.’

The Stars Look Down


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And so made significant . . .
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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.

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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.