And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

17 November

Henry Machyn,

‘The xvij day of November be-twyn v and vj in the mornyng ded quen Mare, the vj yere of here grace(’s) rayne, the wyche Jhesu have mercy on her solle! Amen.

[The same] day, be-twyne a xj and xij a’ for[noon, the lady Eliza]beth was proclamyd quen Elsabeth, quen of England, France and Yrland, and deffender of the feyth, by dyvers haroldes of armes and trumpeters, and dukes, lordcs [and knights,] the wyche was ther present, the duke of Norfoke, [the] lord tresorer, the yerle of Shrousbere, and the yerele of Bedford, and the lord mayre and the althermen, and dyver odur lordes and knyghtes.

The sam day, at after-non, all the chyrches in London dyd ryng, and at nyght dyd make bonefyres and set tabulls in the strett, and ded ett and drynke and mad mere for the newe quen Elsabeth, quen Mare(’s) syster.’ [Mary Tudor died, and her half-sister Queen Elizabeth I ascended the throne of England.]

Elizabeth becomes queen


Mary Clavering Cowper,

‘Dr. Clarke came in this Morning and presented the Princess with his Books. This Day she expressed a Dislike to my Lady Bristol’s Project of attacking the Duchess of Shrewsbury in the House of Commons about her being a Foreigner, and consequently incapable of having any Place about the Princess.

The Duchess of Bolton asked me to go to her House to meet the Prince and play at Cards with all the Ladies of the Bedchamber. But I was in Waiting: the Duchess of St. Albans supped out also that Night where the King was. She had been made Groom of the Stole the Week before, and so the Duchess of Shrewsbury had come into her Place; and now Lady Bristol laboured to get in, in the same Manner that the Duchess of Shrewsbury had been before. But she has since had a direct Denial.’

All sorts of colours


Harman Blennerhassett,
lawyer and aristocrat

‘Had a note fr. Burr this morning, to dine wth him tomorrow, at 4 o’clock, which invitation I have accepted, in anticipation of mixing probably for the last time with a few of his choice spirits.’

Breaking with Burr


David Cargill,

‘This morning our lovely infant was baptized in Marquarie St Ch. by the Revd W. Simpson. May the Lord spare her life and grant her grace to be a comfort & blessing to us. She is named Jane Smith out of respect to her grandmother.’

Like wolves and hyaenas


Philip Hone,
businessman and politician

‘The terrible abolition question is fated, I fear, to destroy the union of the States, and to endanger the peace and happiness of our western world. Both parties are getting more and more confirmed in their obstinacy, and more intolerant in their prejudices. A recent disgraceful affair has occurred in the town of Alton, State of Illinois, which is calculated to excite the most painful feelings in all those who respect the laws and desire the continuance of national peace and union. Alton is situated on the left bank of the Mississippi, and opposite the slave-holding State of Missouri. An abolition paper was established there, called the “Alton Observer,” which, becoming obnoxious to the slaveholders, was assailed and the establishment destroyed, some time since, by an ungovernable mob; an attempt was recently made to reestablish the paper, which caused another most disgraceful outrage, in which two persons were killed and several wounded.’

A jewel beyond price


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,

‘I said as I dressed myself this morning, “To-day at least I will work on Evangeline.” But no sooner had I breakfasted than there came a note from ___ to be answered forthwith; then ___, to talk about a doctor; then Mr. Bates, to put up a fireplace; then this journal, to be written for a week. And now it is past eleven o’clock, and the sun shines so brightly upon my desk and papers that I can write no more.’

Gabrielle, Celestine or Evangeline?


John Everett Millais,

‘Small stray cat found by one of the men, starved and almost frozen to death. Saw Mrs. Barnes nursing it and a consumptive chicken; feeding the cat with milk. Painted at the ivy. Evening same as usual.’

At work on Ophelia


Gertrude Vanderbilt,

‘When I last wrote I was not feeling at all well. On Saturday I was quite sure I was going to have typhoid fever. I had a miserable pain which had gone on getting worse for several days and was feeling altogether horribly. Sunday I still kept up but as I had not eaten a single thing (without exaggeration) and had consumed glasses of water since Thursday, Mama noticed it and asked me if I was not well. The end of it was the next morning the doctor came and said he thought I had jaundice. And as it proved to be, I was yellow and the pain kept on, and there were the other symptoms. Saturday for the first time I was allowed to get up for a little. That is today, but I have not yet been out of my room. We are going away on Tuesday if I am able, to see Alfred first and then to go to New York. It will be nice getting back for some reasons, but I am very sorry the autumn is over. If I had only not been sick this week Mo & I might have had some of the most delightful rides and walks. I am terribly disappointed about it as I was looking forward to the last week here. Mo has been so nice lately. That is he was especially nice the last time I saw him, the 8th. He was going away till Tuesday & he would have given anything to get out of it. He said how hard it was to go, not as Mo usually says things. Anyway he never says things unless he means them. And he acted as if it were really hard. Of course I said I was awfully sorry and wish he could stay etc, but at last he did say “good bye” after a very nice long talk and off he went. Saturday I received from New York a beautiful box of flowers from him, an enormous bunch of violets just like some I had seen when he was there and that Mr Stewart had sent me a few days before. He wrote in a card he wished he were in Newport & hoped I would wear the flowers, which of course I did. We had planned to ride on Tuesday but of course I could not, so I wrote & thanked him for the flowers and on Wednesday, no Thursday he sent me some more flowers and a letter. Friday he came to see me but I was still in bed. I hope today, oh I do hope I can see him.’

Our spirits were overflowing


Arseny Tarkovsky,

‘My father has had a heart attack. He categorically refuses to go into hospital - he’s got a thing about hospitals altogether. He doesn’t want to see the doctor. And there he is with his aneurysm!

I think he has a contract - or if he hasn’t got it yet he will any minute now - for another book. Marvellous. I so want him to write more poetry now. Only - God grant him health.’

Tarkovsky father and son


Bernard Donoughue,

‘Ridiculous that we [special advisers] are always suspected of leaking to the press. In fact I do occasionally talk with three old friends in newspapers without giving anything secret away – one on the Sunday Times (Harold Evans), one on The Times (Peter Hennessy) and one on the Financial Times (Joe Rogaly). Each tells me that most of their frequent leaks of secret information comes from regular civil servants.’ ’

Donoughue’s Downing Street play


Theodore M. Hesburgh,
priest and administrator

‘Sao Paulo, Brazil. This was our final day in Brazil. We were up at 6:30 A.M. for Mass with the family and household staff. After a continental breakfast, we dropped Chris off at the Brazilian Chamber of Commerce office, where he is president for Sao Paulo, the largest council in Brazil. Then it was on to the airport. The horrendous traffic doubled our travel time compared with the day before. Once there, we found a Miami paper and learned that we really clobbered Alabama last Saturday. This news was especially welcomed by Ned, who looked after Notre Dame athletics for all those thirty-five years he was executive vice president, and for whom the lean years of the early 1980s were still a fresh memory.

Our flight to Santiago, Chile, took about four hours in a 737. At the airport, waiting to welcome us, were our good friends Father George Canepa, a Chilean Holy Cross priest, and Father Charlie Delaney, a classmate of Ned’s. Ned stayed with Charlie, who is in charge of seminarian formation here, and I moved in with George. When I arrived at the Casa Santa Maria, my billet for the stay here, I called Helen back at the office to catch up with the news. I also asked her to arrange for overcoats for Ned and me in New York, where we’ll be arriving in about three weeks with nothing but summer clothes.

Tonight, Ned and I had dinner with Alejandro Foxley and his wife, Giselle, at their home. Father Ernie Bartell, director of the Kellogg Institute, also joined us, so there was a lot of shop talk, as might be imagined. Mostly, we discussed the new Hesburgh International Building at Notre Dame, which will house our Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies as well as the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Both these institutes are doing very important work, and in the years ahead I will be devoting a great deal of time to them, as chairman of their International Advisory Boards.’

To smell the roses


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