And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

19 May

Jens Munk,

‘On the 19th of May, died Erich Hansen Li, who, throughout the voyage, had been very industrious and willing, and had neither offended anyone nor deserved any punishment. He had dug many graves for others, but now there was nobody that could dig his, and his body had to remain unburied.’

Nobody to dig the graves


John Marrett,

‘Morning, Thunder & rain at home. An uncommon Darkness from 1/2 past 10 clock A. M. to 1/2 past one P. M. So dark that I couldnt see to read common print at the window nor see the hour of the clock unless close to it and scarcely to see to read a Bible of large print, people left off work in the house and abroad. The fowls, some of them went to roost. It was cloudy, wind S. W. The Heavens looked yellowish and gloomy what is the Occasion of it is unknown. The moon fulled yesterday. Many persons much terrified never known so dark a day People lit candles to see to dine.

Ye largest Funeral


Vere Hunt,
landlord and politician

‘Dined at Tom Quin’s. At nine an express came for the Surgeon-General, who dined with us, to go off to dress Lord Edward Fitzgerald’s wounds, who had just been taken by Major Sirr and Justices Swan and Ryan.’

Vere Hunt in a crashing machine


Henry Crabb Robinson,

‘Went to Covent Garden Theatre. Mrs. Siddons played Queen Catherine to perfection, and Kemble as Wolsey, in the scene of his disgrace, was greatly applauded. I think I never saw Mrs. Siddons’s pantomime in higher excellence. The dying scene was represented with such truthfulness, as almost to go beyond the bounds of beautiful imitation, viz. by shifting her pillow with the restlessness of a person in pain, and the suspended breath in moving, which usually denotes suffering. It was, however, a most delightful performance.’

Her genius triumphed


John Nash,

‘London - walked down to the office of Woods - went to the Zoological Gardens -’

Dined at Lyons


Alexander Hamilton Stephens,
lawyer and politician

‘Inferior Court sat; no business. Starvation to the whole race of lawyers!’

Deprived of my liberty


Johann August Sutter,

‘The great Rush from San Francisco arrived at the fort, all my friends and acquaintances filled up the houses and the whole fort, I had only a little Indian boy, to make them roasted Ripps etc. as my Cooks left me like every body else. The Merchants, Doctors, Lawyers, Sea Captains, Merchants etc. all came up and did not know what to do, all was in a Confusion, all left their wives and families in San francisco, and those which had none locked their Doors, abandoned their houses, offered them for sale cheap, a few hundred Dollars House & Lot (Lots which are worth now $100,000 and more), some of these men were just like greazy. Some of the Merchants has been the most 49 purdentest of the Whole, visited the Mines and returned immediately and began to do a very profitable business, and soon Vessels came from every where with all Kind of Merchandise, the whole old thrash which was laying for Years unsold, on the Coasts of South & Central America, Mexico Sandwich Islands etc. All found a good Market here. Mr. Brannan was erecting a very large Warehouse, and have done an immense business, connected with Howard & Green; S. Francisco.’

Sutter’s Gold Rush


Ford Madox Brown,

‘. . . to the R.A. Went over it all, catalogue in hand from No. 1 to the End. Very little good, only 3 historical works & they not good. . . Hunt & Millais unrivalled, except by [James Clarke] Hook how for colour, indescribable charm, is pre-eminent even to hugging him in ones arms. A perfect poem is each of his little pictures. Millais’ look ten times better than in his room owing to contrast with the surrounding badness. Hunts Scape goat requires to be seen to be believed in & only then can it be understood how by the might of genius out of an old goat & some saline incrustations can be made one of the most tragic & impressive works in the annals of art.’

The might of genius


Charles Brooke,

‘The two heavy guns were fired at sunset, as a preparatory signal for the final start in the morning. I had written letters to Sarawak and England, and for the sixth time made my will, and was now anxious to be off. There were many natives very apprehensive in their minds about the success of the coming attack, and they were extremely fearful of sickness in penetrating so far inland. Abang Aing, prince of caution, care, and prudence, requested me to supply him with a roll of white cloth as grave-clothes, in order to perform the last obsequies to those who should remain behind. I had sent word to Watson to await our arrival at Kabong, and my brother had already proceeded to Kanowit, accompanied by Sergeant Lees, in charge of guns, rockets, muskets, and ammunition, to the amount of several thousand rounds.’

The Sarawak coast is safe


Beatrice Webb,
economist and social reformer

‘The King’s death has turned politics topsy-turvy . . . London and the country generally is enjoying itself hugely at the Royal Wake, slobbering over the lying-in-state and the formal procession. Any collective thought and feeling is to the good; but the ludicrous false sentiment which is being lavished over the somewhat commonplace virtues of our late King would turn the stomachs of the most loyal of Fabians.’

Webbs on the Web


Aleister Crowley,
writer and priest

‘I have been thinking over the question of the routine of the Abbey, both as to daily life and as to disciples. I want a minimum of things which disturb, and at the same time enough to breed Order. Daily Life: 1. Alostrael to proclaim the Law on waking. 2. Adoration of Ra. 3. Grace before breakfast at 7.00 a.m. 4. ditto dinner, noon. 5. Adoration of Ra. 6 and 7, ditto supper at 6.00 p.m. 8. Ritual work.

For newcomers: First week, 1, three days’ hospitality. 2. One day’s silence. 3, Three days’ instruction. 4. The Magical Oath, followed by four weeks’ silence and work. Sixth week, 5, one day’s instruction. 6. Six days’ Vision. Seventh and ninth weeks, 7. three weeks’ silence and work. Tenth week, 8, one week’s instruction and repose. Eleventh and thirteenth weeks, 9, as 7. This makes one Quarter. At the end, the survivor revises the whole period, and takes new counsel and Oath accordingly; but no routine can be appointed for this further period; all will depend on what seems advisable.

Saw Diana renewed tonight, the loveliest slim maiden, rich pale gold in a sea of blue shaded into pink, green, orange, and violet with clouds of ever delicate tone of purple and grey, in every form from solid banks to films of mist.

Her disappearance in the Hell below Amenti, where I suspect her of conduction with Tum, has been the signal for me to renew activity. Made a volcano panel. I wrote The Moralist.’

Do what thou wilt


Antonio de las Alas,

‘Don Vicente Madrigal talked also of Gen. Carlos P. Romulo. He said that Romulo is even rougher and more uncompromising than Confesor and Secretary Cabili. One day he saw copies of the Philippines Herald being sold in the streets. He learned that the newspaper’s daily publication started a week before. Romulo appears as Chief Editor. Don Vicente sent word to Romulo stating that he was glad that the Philippines Herald was already being published. It must be remembered that Don Vicente is practically the owner of the Philippines Herald as he owns the majority of the stocks. Romulo offered his regrets and apology to Don Vicente for not having informed him. Romulo added that the publication of the Herald would have to be suspended as Gen. MacArthur did not want any of the old newspapers to begin publication. Later the Free Philippines began its publication.

When Romulo arrived from the U.S., he did not visit Madrigal nor offer any help to him. Madrigal considers Romulo the most ungrateful man he has ever known. He bought the Herald upon the entreaty of Romulo who did not want the Herald to fall into the hands of the Roceses. He made Romulo the Editor. Romulo wanted to go to Chunking and other places in the Orient to be able to write on the conditions in those places. He had no money, however. Don Vicente granted him an unlimited credit that allowed Romulo to visit many places in the Orient and write a series of articles. These made him very famous in the literary world. The articles earned him the Pulitzer Prize, which also brought in some cash. After all he has done for Romulo, as Mr. Madrigal puts it, Romulo’s attitude of indifference towards him was the height of ingratitude.’

Philippine hero’s birth date


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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.

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