And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

4 November

1684
Jacob Bee,
tradesman

‘A foot race was runn betwixt Fairebearnes, a butcher, and a countrey-man called John Upton, and runn upon Elvittmoore, the hardest run that ever any did see. The countrey-man wone upon hard tearmes, being runn soo nerely that scarce any could judge, when they had but one hundred yards to runn, whether should have it.’

Very fiery comets

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1788
Frances (Fanny) Burney,
writer

‘Passed much the same as the days preceding it; the Queen in deep distress, the King in a state almost incompre-hensible, and all the house uneasy and alarmed. The drawing-room was again put off, and a steady residence seemed fixed at Windsor.’

The eve of some fever

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1788
George Washington,
president

‘Thermometer at 58 in the Morning - 75 at Noon and 72 at Night. Morning clear, calm and very pleasant - as the weather continued to be thro’ the day. Mr. Herbert & his Lady, Mr. Potts & his Lady, Mr. Ludwell Lee & his Lady, and Miss Nancy Craik came here to dinner and returned afterwards.’

Washington’s domestic felicity

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1916
Robert Lindsay Mackay,
soldier

‘Albert is knocked about in the most up-to-date fashion, in accordance with the most advanced ideas. There is not a pane of unbroken glass in the place. Every house, if not entirely demolished or with a gable or two missing, has a few holes in the roof, which help the ventilation and also assist materially in the disposal of surplus rain. Ye Gods! It is a funny life!

Albert Cathedral has been very badly smashed but the tower still remains with the figure of the Virgin and Child held out at right angles to it at the top and threatening to fall at any moment on the heads of countless people who pass below. It is commonly said that the War will not end until the Virgin falls. As the French don’t want it to fall (preferring to keep it as a monument of the Huns’ occupation of the place), what can we do?’

A bath in Albert

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1922
Howard Carter,
archaeologist

‘First steps of tomb found

At about 10am I discovered beneath almost the first hut attacked the first traces of the entrance of the tomb (Tut.ankh.Amen) This comprised the first step of the N.E. corner (of the sunken-staircase). Quite a short time sufficed to show that it was the beginning of a steep excavation cut in the bed rock, about four metres below the entrance of Ramses VI’s tomb, and a similar depth below the present level of the valley. And, that it was of the nature of a sunken staircase entrance to a tomb of the type of the XVIIIth Dyn., but further than that nothing could be told until the heavy rubbish above was cleared away.’

The finding of Tutankhamun

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1924
Edward Weston,
photographer

‘The sitting of D. H. Lawrence this morning. A tall, slender, rather reserved individual with a brick-red beard. He was amiable enough and we parted in a friendly way, but the contact was too brief for either of us to penetrate more than superficially the other: no way to make a sitting.’

Lost behind my camera

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And so made significant . . .
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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.

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, usually several every week. The blog has been publishing for over five years, and is the secondary source for the diary extracts in this online anthology.