And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

23 June

William Lambarde,

‘I bound Francis Whitepaine of Yalding, yeoman, to the peace against Richard Acton of Yalding, clothier, with four manucaptors, by force of a supplicavit out of the Chancery.’

Virtuous William Lambarde


William Lambarde,

‘We of this division sent out towards the Low Countries thirteen men for our part of fifty men allotted to this lathe of Aylesford; given to every one 2 s. press money and to the captain 10 d. for each one towards coat and furniture; the whole shire made out three hundred.’

Virtuous William Lambarde


Roger Lowe,

‘I went to Leigh and gave my Dame 9 li. in monys. She would have the Taylor take measure on me for a paire of Breeches, dublett, and coate, and she and I went into shop to looke out cloth, and she made me take my choice, soe we tooke two Remlents into house and she kept them in her custodie. This newes sent me joyfullie towards Ashton. It was the Lord that movd her; nay, she was so forward as she would have had the tailor left others’ worke for to have done my clothes against Sabbath day.’

In church, at the alehouse


Thomas Turner,

‘About five o’clock in the afternoon, it pleased Almighty GOD to take from me my beloved wife, who, poor creature, has laboured under a severe tho’ lingering illness for these thirty-eight weeks, which she bore with the greatest resignation to the Divine will. In her I have lost a sincere friend, a virtuous wife, a prudent good economist in her family, and a very valuable companion. . . I have lost an invaluable blessing, a wife who, had it pleased GOD to have given her health, would have been of more real excellence to me than the greatest fortune this world can give. I may justly say, with the incomparable Mr Young, ‘Let them whoever lost an angel, pity me.’

Of briars, thorns and an angel


John Scott,

‘Five years married this day - forty-five years old. Five years reading, at twelve hours a day, would establish my reputation on the Bench, and make the rest of my life easy. Cromwell would have done it, and did a thousand times more.’

At war with every difficulty


A C Benson,
teacher and writer

‘I drove off to Athenaeum. Wrote letters, and went to see the Blake exhibition. Surely people must be cracked who make such a fuss about Blake’s little funny drawings. There is some imagination in them and much quaintness. But the absurd old men with beards likes ferns or carrots - the strange glooms and flames and tornadoes of vapour, the odd, conventional faces, the muscular backs, the attenuated thighs! Blake was a childish spirit who loved his art, and had a curious naive use of both word and line and colour; and some fine simple thoughts about art and life. But he was certainly not ‘all there’ - and to make him out as a kind of supreme painter and poet is simply ridiculous.’

A C Benson’s inner life


Anthony Eden,

‘Simon told me he could not take questions Monday, would I? ... It eventually transpired that there was a question on bombing that he did not want to answer because he could not express approval of government policy though he has urged me to often enough and has done little enough against it. Not very noble. He added: ‘I shall certainly feel ill again by then. Indeed I feel my illness creeping upon me already. It will certainly be bad on Monday.” Makes one wonder whether the whole thing is not a sham.’

The 1st Earl of Avon


Hugh Dalton,

‘Awakened at 2 a.m. by flying bombs and one comes fairly close when I am in my bath at 9 a.m.!

Lunch at Soviet Embassy, with Sir Thomas Barlow, in celebration of his services in providing clothing for the Soviet civilians. Gusev still very slow and tongue-tied, but it is not true to say that he won’t speak English.

Leave for West Leaze with Bob Fraser. Train is very crowded and the morale of some of the passengers is not high. It is sensible that any one not now working in London should, if they conveniently can, get out and stay out.’

Uproar in Parliament


Paul K Lyons,



A heavy dew in the night. An hour and a half till 8:30 to get a lift - two lifts to Passau. Everywhere in this area there are churches - very beautiful, very old. Here in Passau, does one of them contains the biggest organ in Europe? Many houses too are old, and the castle-type houses on the tops of small hills always make the scene beautiful. I am sitting on a bench looking out across where the Danube and the Inn meet - church bells are peeling and the sun is hot. It is so peaceful here, the water flowing fast to pass Wien and Budapest and Bucharest, a long way to the Adriatic.

I get a lift from the head of the largest spectacles frame-maker in the world, in a Merc - following the Danube with the forest and fields and beautiful views to Linz. Some Austrian hamburgers ‘mit salat’ - tasty. A little sleep and a hefty walk and a long wait for a lift to Wien, but I make it by 6:00. A bier and football - Poland 2 Italy 1 - and a map from tourist information. I walk around, although it’s a bit of hassle, of course, with the pack - some fabulous buildings - the Hofburg home of the Habsburgs in winter - Baroque mostly - statues abound - Austrian elections for President - everyone must vote.

Around the world in diary days


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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.

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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.

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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, several times a week. Now over ten years old, The Diary Review is the secondary source for the extracts in this online anthology.