And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

16 June

William Charles Macready,

‘Sent to the theatre about the rehearsal, and after looking at the newspaper to ascertain the state of the King’s health - what an absurdity that the natural ailment of an old and ungifted man should cause so much perplexity and annoyance! - went to the Haymarket and rehearsed, with some care, Othello. Acted Othello in some respects very well, but want much attention to it still. [. . .] Forster came into my room with a gentleman, whom he introduced as Dickens, alias Boz - I was glad to see him.’ [Editor’s footnote: ‘Thus began a friendship of the happiest and most genial description that was only terminated by Dickens’s death, thirty-three years afterwards. Dickens was then not more than twenty-five, and had not yet published any of his novels, though the Sketches by Box had brought him a good deal of reputation as a magazine contributor.’]

A surprising man


John Addington Symonds,

‘We left at five for Geneva, where I now am. The journey from Amberieu to Belle Garde was extremely fine. It winds through a pass cut by the Rhone, between Jura and some other mountains. After breaking fast we drove out to see Geneva. First we went to the cathedral, a small and symmetrical building of most interesting transition Romanesque. It has curious specimens of the use of round and pointed arch in combination, and borrows more from Roman models in the capitals than any I have seen. There is the pulpit, beneath whose sounding-board Calvin, Knox, and Beza preached. We sat in Calvin’s chair. The church is perfectly bare, and Protestant. It was more injured in five weeks of French occupation, when 10,000 men garrisoned Geneva and made it a hospital, than in its three centuries of Protestantism. A little Roman Catholic glass is still left in the windows of the apse.’

A splendid liquid sky


Joseph Goebbels,

‘Hitler is still the same dear comrade. You can’t help liking him as a person. And he has a stupendous mind. As a speaker he has constructed a wonderful harmony of gesture, facial expression and spoken word. The born motivator! With him, we can conquer the world. Give him his head, and he will shake the corrupt Republic to its foundations.’

We can conquer the world


Thor Heyerdahl,

‘Curious fish sighted on the port bow. Six feet long, maximum breadth one foot, brown, thin snout, large dorsal fin near head and a smaller one in the middle of the back, heavy sickle-shaped tail fin. Kept near surface and swam at times by wriggling its body like an eel. It dived when Hermann and I went out in the rubber dinghy with a hand harpoon. Came up later but dived again and disappeared.’

The Kon-Tiki man


Jimmy Boyle,
prisoner and sculptor

‘I didn’t get to sleep till after 3am. Thoughts were flashing in my mind about my position here. There is no doubt that I am going through a crisis point with myself. Freedom is a balanced diet of the mental and physical, and though mentally I feel I’m as free as I’ll ever be, the fact is that I am physically restricted. This is a telling factor in my present problems. I went out a few times last year and some this year for physiotherapy after my operation. I thought that because I had played my part in acting responsibly it would be an on-going thing. I was wrong.

I spent the whole day from early morning till late afternoon working on the piece of stone in the yard. Every hit of the hammer on the chisel was full of violence; so much so that I lost count of all time. I was so absorbed in my thoughts and the piece before me. Tired and worn I went to bed at 4pm and lay till this evening.’

This violent typewriter


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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.

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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.

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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, 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.