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


Volodymyr Vynnychenko,

‘Surprisingly, when it seemed to them that I had agreed to what they liked, I was immediately given a car and even a separate train to move to Kharkiv. When it turned out that they were wrong, that I was standing on my own, so there is not even a place in a regular train. We have to beg to be allowed to leave. “All-Ukrainian Starost” Petrovsky has a separate car, cook, salon, etc. He promised to take me with him. But. It turns out that there is no place for me in his car, he recruited “specialists” for Ukraine from here. need not be.

And again we have to state that we were there in Vienna, extremely naive. Here people are such lonely people as everywhere. The worker Petrovsky, a communist and revolutionary, also sees the greatest value of life in saloon cars, cars, telephones and trifles ... [This sentence is interrupted].’

Revolutionary, prime minister, author


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


Thomas Wolfe,

‘Up at 7 o'clock in hotel at Mohave - and already the room hot and stuffy and the wind that had promised a desert storm the night before was still and the sun already hot and mucoid on the incredibly dirty and besplattered window panes - and a moments look of hot tarred roof and a dirty ventilator in the restaurant below and no moving life but the freight cars of S.P. rr - and a slow freight climbing fast and weariness - so up and shaved and dressed and gripped the zipper and downstairs and the white-cream Ford waiting and the two others - in the car - and to the cafe for breakfast - eggs and pancakes, sausages most hearty - and a company of r.r. men - So out of town at 8:10 and headed straight into the desert - and so straight across the Mohave at high speed for four hours - to Barstow - so in full flight now - the desert yet more desert - blazing heat - 102 inside the filling station - the dejected old man and his wife - and so the desert mountains, crateric, lavic and volcanic, and so more fiendish the fiend desert of the lavoid earth like an immense plain of Librea tar - and very occasionally a tiny blistered little house - and once or twice the paradise of water and the magic greenery of desert trees - and yet hotter and more fiendish - through fried hills - cupreous, ferrous, and denuded as slag heaps - and so the filling station and the furnace air fanned by a hot dry strangely invigorating breeze and the filling station man who couldn’t sign “I'm only up an hour and my hands shake so with the heat” - and Needles at last in blazing heat and the restaurant station and hotel and Fred Harvey all aircooled, and a good luncheon, and an hour here -  

so out again in blazing heat - 106° within the strolling of the station awning - 116 or 120 out of it - and so out of Needles - and through heat blasted air along the Colorado 15 miles or so and then across the river into Arizona - pause for inspection, all friendly and immediate - then into the desert world of Arizona - the heat blasted air - the desert mountain slopes clear in view and more devilish - the crateric and volcanic slopes down in and up and up among them, now and then a blistered little town - a few blazing houses and the fronts of stores - up and up now and fried desert slopes prodigiously - and into Oatman and the gold mining pits, the craterholes, the mine shafts and the signs of new gold digging - Mexicans half naked before a pit - and up and up and only up and up to Goldcrest? 

Across the Mohave the S.P. fringed with black against the blazing crater of the desert sky snakes on, snakes on its monotone of forever and of now - moveless Immediate and at last the rim and down and down through blasted slopes, volcanic “pipes" and ancient sea erosions, mesa table heads, columnar swathes, stratifications, and the fiendish wind, and below the vast pale, lemon-mystic plain - and far away immeasurably far the almost moveless plume of black of engine smoke and the double header freight advancing - advanceless moveless - moving through timeless time and on and on across the immense plain backed by more immensities of fiendish mountain slopes to meet it and so almost meeting moveless-moving never meeting up and up and round and through a pass and down to Kingman and a halt for water and on and on and up and down into another mighty plain, desert growing grey-green greener - and some cattle now and always up and up and through fried blasted slopes and the enormous lemon-magic of the desert plains, fiend mountain slopes pure lemon heat mist as from magic seas arising - and a halt for gas at a filling station with a water fountain “Please be careful with the water we have to haul it 60 miles” - 5280 feet above - and 4800 feet we've climbed since Needles and on and on and up and the country greening now and steers in fields wrenching grey-green grass among the sage brush clumps and trees beginning now - the National Forest beginning - and new greenery - and trees and pines and grass again - a world of desert greenness still not Oregon - but a different world entirely from the desert world and hill slopes no longer fiend troubled but now friendly, forested familiar, and around and down and in a pleasant valley Williams - and for a beer here where I thought I was 3 years ago - bartender a Mexican or an Indian or both and out and on our way again only the great road leading across the continent and 6 or 7 miles out an of turn to the left for the Grand Canyon - and not much climbing now, but up and down again the great plateau 7000 feet on top - and green fields now and grass and steers and hills forested and cooler and trees and on and on toward (levelly) the distant twin rims - blue-vague defined - of the terrific canyon - the great sun sinking now below our 7000 feet - we racing on to catch him at the canyon ere he sinks entirely - but too late, too late - at last the rangers little house, the permit and the sticker, the inevitable conversations, the polite goodbyes - and (almost dark now) at 8:35 to the edges of the canyon - to Bright Angel Lodge - and before we enter between the cabins of the Big Gorgooby - and the Big Gorgooby there immensely, darkly, almost weirdly there - a fathomless darkness peered at from the very edge of hell with abysmal starlight - almost unseen - just fathomlessly there - So to our cabin - and delightful service - and so to dinner in the Lodge - and our rudeeleven in jodphurs, pajamas, shirts, and country suits, and Fred Harvey’s ornate wigwam - and to dinner here - and then to walk along the rim of Big Gorgooby and inspect the big hotel - and at the stars innumerable and immense above the Big Gorgooby just a look - a big look - so goodnight and 500 miles today -’

The last manuscript


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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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.

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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.