And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

1 March

Richard Boyle,
landowner and politician

‘I agreed with mason John Hamon to fynish my outward gate of my house in yoghall & the chymney in my perler there; the stones being all hewed and made fytt before by my Irish mason; for which I paid him [. . .]’

The Great Earl of Cork


Jens Munk,

‘On the 1st of March, died Jens Borringholm and Hans Skudenes; and, the sickness having now prevailed so far that nearly all of the crew lay sick, we had great difficulty in getting the dead buried.’

Nobody to dig the graves


Ralph Jackson,

‘In the morning I went to Mary Davison’s and got my Sassifras Tea then I came to our house & got a little milk. After breakfast I went into the Office and wrote some Receipts, ordered the fire Coal deliver’d to sundry people. I took a walk upon the Key & sat in Mr Akenheads shop awhile, after this I went for some fish herbs upon the Sandhill to Mrs Barfields for some Vinegar, I also went into Office and wrote over Mr Cuffley’s Accot., Mr Cuffley & Jno Campion dined at our house. . .’

Apprentice Hostman and squire


George Croghan,
tradesman and Indian negotiator

‘Six Senecas Indians came here, from one of the Shawanese Towns & inform’d me, as follows - That the deputation from the Shawanese & Delawares, which were sent last Summer, to the Ilinois to Councel with the French & Indians in that Country, were returned, that they had been well recd by the French, who, on their arrival, clothed them & told them, they would supply them, with every necessary they wanted, to carry on the War agst the English; & would send Traders with them, to their Towns, when they shou’d set out. That they had held a Council with nine Indian Nations, settled on the Ouabache & in the Ilinois Country, who all Engaged to support them, with their whole Force, should they continue the War against the English. That on those Deputys return to the plains of Siota & being informed of the Terms, of accommodation agreed on by their Nations (during their absence) with Colonel Boquet, they then in Council with the Sandusky & Seneca Indians, agreed to abide by their People’s Engagements, & perform the whole in their part, provided the English wou’d open a free Trade & intercourse with them, & supply them with Ammunition, Goods, & Rum, as usual & not prohibit the Sale of Powder & Liquors, as they had done before the late difference happened. These Indians farther said, the Shawanese had sent a Message to the French Traders, who were then following them to their Towns, to return home - (I much doubted the Truth of this) & that they had sent a Message, likewise, to the Nine Nations in that Country acquainting them, that they were about accommodating matters with the English, & desiring them to sit still, ‘till they heard farther from them in the Spring.’

Pioneering in Pennsylvania


Henry Martyn,

Called on Sir J Mackintosh, and found his conversation, as it is generally said to be, very instructive and entertaining. He thought that the world would be soon Europeanized, in order that the gospel might spread over the world. He observed that caste was broken down in Egypt, and the oriental world made Greek, by the successors of Alexander, in order to make way for the religion of Christ. He thought that little was to be apprehended, and little hoped for, from the exertions of missionaries. Called at General Malcolm’s, and though I did not find him at home, was very well rewarded for my trouble in getting to his house, by the company of Mr _, lately from R_. Dined at Parish’s, with a party of some very amiable and well-behaved young men. What a remarkable difference between the old inhabitants of India, and the new comers. This is owing to the number of religious families in England.

My unprofitable life


Edward Hodges Cree,

‘We have been getting on well till two days ago when we had a dead calm we lost our poor Corporal of Marines, Copperwhite, who died from acute rheumatism, which suddenly left his limbs and attacked his brain - delirium and coma ended in death. He was one of the best men in the ship, sober and obliging and hard-working. His body was committed to the deep this day.’

Pirate hunting expedition


Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake,

‘Whole holiday. Gave way to passion to A. and B. tho’ perhaps they were provoking I should better have striven to retain my temper. Alas from my feelings since it seems as if it were the letting in of water. O preserve me from being so awfully passionate as I was. Overbearing and ordering in the afternoon. Oh for the Charity which ‘is kind’ which ‘is not puffed up’ ‘seeketh not her own’ and above all which ‘is not easily provoked’.’

Pioneering women’s education


August Strindberg,

‘Awoke by seeing a bedbug on my quilt, which I killed.’

H-t was with me


C. S. Lewis,

‘I spent most of the morning in the kitchen cutting up turnips and peeling onions for D, and then went for an hour’s walk in the fields. After lunch and jobs I took Euripides from his shelf for the first time this many a day, with some idea of reading a Greek play every week end (when I am not writing) so as to keep up my Greek. I began the Heracleidae. Coming back to Greek tragedy after so long an absence I was greatly impressed with its stiffness and rumness and also thought the choruses strangely prosaic. The effort to represent a scuffle between Iolaus and the Herald is intolerably languid. After the first shock, however, I enjoyed it.’

For Mrs Moore


Tony Benn,

‘Went to the House and couldn’t decide whether to vote for compulsory seat belts. I thought it was a form of tyranny that would make me look a Stalinist. But I rang Caroline and she said, “Think of the babies, the children would all want to, and lives might be saved.” So I voted in favour and it was carried by a huge majority.’

The hopes of the Left


Peter Handke,

‘Suddenly, in the midst of all the people who crowded around me or spoke to me, I felt as if there were a dead chicken in my chest

This evening I got back from Austria and Germany. Suddenly, at the dark Porte de la Muette on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, it seemed to me that my life - a kind of second, secret biography - was simultaneously continuing back home in southern Carinthia, continuing very concretely before the eyes of the villagers, and that my body at that moment was painfully, yet almost consolingly stretched over the length and breadth of Europe, that I became a standard of measurement and lost myself’

A dead chicken in my chest


Howard Brenton,

‘Now I’m at Warwick University, a guest of the Student Union. It’s raining. The concrete of the campus is sodden, and the windows are steamed up. I’m sitting in the Arts Centre coffee bar. It’s typical of the ‘Arts Centres’ built in the sixties on university campuses. It’s a white elephant, a car-drive away from any public and ignored by most of the students. It has an ugly main house but a good studio theatre.

I spent a happy and turbulent year here, 1978 to 1979, as ‘Resident Writer’. I got some free teaching. A maths teacher gave me an idea for my new play The Genius [premiered at the Royal Court in 1983], 1 ran a weekly workshop, wrote in the student newspaper, did a farewell improvised play and wrote most of The Romans, sitting in a sun-trap, concrete-walled, little garden at the back of my campus flat. It was an idyll. Rolf Lass, one of the teachers in the English Department and an old mentor from my Cambridge days, even got me reading Anglo-Saxon poetry for the first time.

Sadly all the students I knew in 1979 have left. The generations pass in a university, three years on and nothing of the young people I knew, what they did or thought, is left. There’s no transmission of memory amongst ‘the student body’. They have tradition, but no memory.

I’ve lost my tobacco. The rain’s drenched my trousers. There’s no advertising for the reading. Everything’s grey and smelling of rotting grass. And I have a premonition: they’ve got the day wrong!

Right. To the gents to clean up, to the University bookshop to cheer up, then I’ll go and find Dave Chumbley, organiser of this gig.’

You feel like a knife


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.