And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

23 October

1637
Robert Woodford,
lawyer

‘my deare child is still very sick, but the Lord is able to recover her, I now pr[e]pare for my Journey into the Country to morrow, & prayed for my Comfortable arrival at North[amp]ton & for favor in the eyes of the Maior & Bayleifes there & for presrvacon from the devouringe pestilence’

I pray increase my estate

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1849
Edward Hodges Cree,
surgeon

‘All the piratical fleet being destroyed except six, two large and two small junks, which escaped through some other branch of the river, we prepared to return to Hoy-how and Hong Kong.

Junks destroyed - 58; 6 escaped

Killed, Chinese pirates - estimated 1,700; escaped to the shore, to be captured, or killed, by the Tonquinese - 1,000

Prisoners - 49; women 8, children 6; most of the latter kidnapped from Hong Kong and the coast. (I fear there were many women destroyed in the junks, unfortunate prisoners of the pirates, who had been plundering and burning the villages along the coast.)

We received 40 prisoners from the mandarin at Chok-am, who had given themselves up to the natives. Forty guns taken are to be given to the Governor of Hoy-how.’

Pirate hunting expedition

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1855
Jane Carlyle,
wife of philosopher

‘A stormy day, within doors; so I rushed out early and walked, walked, walked! If peace and quietness be not in one’s own power, one can always give oneself, at least, bodily fatigue - no such bad succedaneum after all! - Life gets to look for me like a sort of kaleidiscope; a few things of different colours (black predominating) which Fate shakes into new and ever new combinations, but always the same things over again! Today has been so like a day I still remember out of ten years ago! The same still, dreamy October weather - the same tumult of mind contrasting with the outer stillness - the same causes for that tumult; then as now I had walked, walked, walked, with no aim but to tire myself.’

I walked, walked, walked

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1940
Joseph Goebbels,
politician

‘Churchill has issued an appeal to the people of France: impudent, offensive and bristling with hypocrisy. A revolting, fat beast. I drafted a speech with a sharp, withering response. If we don’t answer them, the English will continue to draw strength from their illusions.’

We can conquer the world

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1993
Peter Clark,
administrator

‘I am at the office early and at precisely 9.30 we hear the screaming of sirens, and Douglas Hurd, his detective, and the Ambassador arrive, followed by members of his entourage - Richard Culshaw in charge of the press and his Principal Private Secretary, John Sawers, whom I last saw in Yemen in 1980. I take Douglas Hurd round the exhibition of Freya Stark’s photographs, and he talks to some of the staff. He also signs my copy of his novel, The Palace of Enchantments, which was already signed by the co-author, Stephen Lamport, in Abu Dhabi. And that is that. The party disappears and so do we.

Douglas Hurd has called on the President, with Andrew Green. It is the first time Andrew has met him.’

Damascus diaries

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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, 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.