And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

8 September

Henry Hudson,
sailor and explorer

‘The eighth, was very faire weather, wee rode still very quietly. The people came aboord us, and brought tabacco and Indian wheat to exchange for knives and beades, and offered us no violence. So we fitting up our Boate did marke them, to see if they would make any shew of the Death of our man; which they did not.’

A very good harbour


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
playwright and diplomat

‘Reached the Brenner, virtually forced to stop at what is an ideal place for a rest. My first act is to tell you all the good things of the day just past. It was the kind of day you can savour in the memory for years. Left Mittelwald at 6, clear sky, a keen wind blowing, and the kind of cold only allowed in February. The near slopes dark and covered in spruce, the grey limestone cliffs, the highest white peaks against the beautiful blue of the sky made exquisite, constantly changing pictures.

Near Scharnitz you get into the Tyrol and the border is closed with a rampart that seals off the valley and joins up with the mountains. It looks very fine. One one side the cliff is fortified, on the other it just goes steeply up.

At Seefield by half-past 8. From there the route gets steadily more interesting. Up to this point it went over the hills that you climb out of Benedict Bayern, now you get nearer to the valley of the Inn and look down into Intzingen. The sun was high and hot. The clothes I brought with me - a jerkin with sleeves and an overcoat - that were meant for all seasons, had to be changed, and they often are 10 times in a day.

Near Cirl the route drops into the Inn valley. The situation is indescribably lovely and with the heat-haze high up it was magnificent. I only managed to dash down a sketch, the driver hadn’t been to Mass yet and was in a hurry to get to Innsbruck, it was the Nativity of the Virgin.

Now it’s down the Inn valley all the way, past the immense steep limestone face of the Martin Wall. At the point where Emperor Max is said to have got himself cragfast, I reckon I could probably get up and down without an angel’s help, though it would still be a criminally risky undertaking.

Innsbruck lies in a splendid position, in a broad rich valley between high rock walls and mountains. I felt like stopping there for today, but something inside wouldn’t let me rest.

The innkeeper’s son was Soller to a T. So I’m gradually coming across the characters I’ve invented.

It’s the Virgin’s Nativity. The people are all dressed up, looking healthy and prosperous, and making a pilgrimage to Wilten a quarter of an hour outside the town. I left Innsbruck at 2 and at half-past seven was here.’

Goethe in shirtsleeves


Wilhelm Bleek,

‘Monday 8th September. After breakfast, I started on my way to D’Urban. My servants had caught up with me on Saturday night and had left very early. I had to cross the u Mhlango. There was no mistake about the aptness of its name - ‘Reed River’. It was very difficult to get through the reeds and the marsh. I was soon in a dense, high forest with impenetrable undergrowth and for hours followed the hilly path. In these forests one still heard not so very long ago of natives being torn to pieces by hyenas. It is impossible to penetrate the thicket which is supposed to be inhabited by elephants which the most courageous hunters cannot capture. There is also a great deal of game and wild animals of different species. This is where the four lions must have come from which were seen recently in Cato Manor. I saw nothing on the road except an ordinary troop of monkeys and when I came nearer they climbed quickly into the tree-tops. I could easily have shot down one or two with my revolver, but I have a great aversion to wounding an animal which is so much like a human and whose death agony is supposed to be like that of a being gifted with reason. I would have loved to catch a small one to find out how far one can civilise it, a sort of missionary activity more prompted by my desire for knowledge than any humanitarian motives.

A number of wagons were on the way to and from the Bay. On the front seat of one of the wagons sat a native in an elegant white suit and a hat, swinging his whip. Inside sat someone clad in black with a white tie and a blank, melancholy look, unmistakably an American missionary. Next to him sat his wife, very much the same in attire and appearance. It was undoubtedly Mr Alden Grant [Aldin Grout] and his family on their way from his mission station on the Umvoti down to D’Urban, just to take a Sunday service in the Presbyterian congregation. The American missionaries take turns in doing this. Behind the wagon rode one of the missionary’s small sons and a Hottentot youngster.

The dense forest stretched as far as the Umgeni, which I crossed below the refinery of Springfield’s sugar plantation. The water just reached up to the horse’s girth. I then went along below the Berea, past sand-dunes which stretch from here down to the sea. I arrived in D’Urban about 2 o’clock. Along the way I saw none of my men, nor did I see them at the place where we were to meet. A parcel from Liverpool had arrived for me by the ‘Royal William’. It contained a few newspapers from Elberfeld, several English and American ones, two parts of ‘Petermann’s Mittheilungen’ and ‘Die Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft’ and also several books. Some came from my family and for some I was indebted to my friend. Daniel Wichelhaus.’

Father of African philology


William Daunt,

‘The Times not having printed my recent letter on the Viceroyalty and the State Church, Mr Carvell Williams sent a copy of it to the Morning Star, in last Thursday’s issue of which it occupies a prominent place.’

The Irish Difficulty


John Hutton Bisdee,

‘Marched till 1 o’clock this morning, then had a rest for three hours, when we were sent off again patrolling after some Boers supposed to be in the vicinity. Some of our men came across two of them and gave them a hot time, but they got away, leaving bandoliers and meat bag. We stopped most of the afternoon at Saltpan, a large salt factory close by a salt lake, which lay in a deep basin. It looked like a lake frozen over. Started again at 5.30, and marched on to Waterval, which we reached at about midnight, very tired.’

For a few cattle


Richard E. Byrd,

‘Terrible storm tonight. Wind 80 miles per hour. Two small boats from Danish gunboat Island Falk could not make their ship. Came alongside our ship. Both boats sank and came within an ace of losing several of the nine or ten Danes - a very dramatic moment. I have only once before experienced such wind - a typhoon in the China Sea. Much excitement on board last night.’

Flying over the Poles


Indira Gandhi,
prime minister

‘Boycott week Programme for Vanar Sena.
The whole week Prbahat Pheris - 6-8 A.M.
Procession starting at Khadi Bhandar at 5:30 P.M.
Meeting at Purshottam Das Park.’

If I die a violent death


Willy Cohn,

‘The day began with the barber telling me that, as of September 19, we will have to wear a badge bearing the word “Jew,” even six-year-old children. This won’t break us either, even though life will be made more difficult. In spite of it all, we will have to try not to lose our nerve. All of these measures show how increasingly bad Germany’s situation is, and how the people’s rage is being vented on the most helpless part of the population! This trumps the Middle Ages! Each violation carries a fine of 500 marks or one month in jail! In addition, travel by Jews has been banned throughout the Reich, and the obligation to report to the Gestapo tightened.

Worked in the Cathedral Archive and did some excerpting for Germania Judaica! Nonetheless, these matters coursed around my mind! Director Engelbert told me that I may continue to work there despite the badge. He is a man of great character, far different from Walter, the archivist, and Mother Huberta. Mother Innocentia is also a person with a large spirit.

This won’t break us


James Chuder Ede,

‘. . . I reached the House just as the P.M. was moving the vote of condolence on the death of the Duke of Kent . . . The P.M. then rose, in Committee on the Vote of Credit, to give his review of the war situation. He was happy and did not strive after great oratorical effects. Nevertheless there were deft verbal touches that amused the House, which remained interested throughout the speech. He began by expressing his thanks for the defeat of the Wardlaw-Milne motion, nine weeks ago. . . He could assure the House we could maintain the defence of Egypt for months to come. He praised the policy of understatement practised by the Cairo communiqué in deference to the taste of the House. We were entitled to regard last week’s fighting as -and he made a dramatic pause as if seeking for some superlative - distinctly not unsatisfactory. Later Greenwood a little unnecessarily reproved the P.M. for this as a meaningless phrase. The House appreciated the humour of the deliberate anti-climax. He had had four days’ personal conference with Stalin to whom he paid a long, eloquent & hearty tribute . . . He made it clear we should go to Russia’s aid regardless of the loss & sacrifices involved. He had foreseen one political danger from the date of the collapse of France. He had feared that Hitler might create an empire like Charlemagne’s, but wherever the German went he was hated as no people had been hated in the history of the world. They corrupted everyone who associated with them. This remark led him to a stern denunciation of the attack on the Jews in France. The hour of victory would be the hour of retribution. The House emptied & not forty members stayed to hear Greenwood who was twice interrupted by Haden-Guest. who first asked if there was united strategy, & then ‘on a point of order’ if it was right for the P.M. to withdraw while the Leader of the Opposition was speaking - Greenwood remarked that it was a point of hunger & intimated his sympathy with the P.M. When Greenwood sat down only Cary rose. I went to lunch . . .

Cripps, according to the wireless, trounced M.P.s who went out during the P.M.’s speech & those who did not stay to hear Greenwood or to carry on the debate. . .’

The Chuder Ede diaries


Charles McMoran Wilson,

‘It is just ten days since the P.M. landed at Northholt with a temperature of 103; for some days after that he was chesty, and the X-rays revealed a shadow at the base of the lung, a third dose, though a very mild one, of pneumonia. There had been some doubt whether he would be fit to set off on another trip so soon. I decided at the last moment to ask Lionel Whitby and a nurse to come with us. Winston has got it into his head that a pathologist is an essential part of the team to deal with an attack of pneumonia, and I thought it would comfort him to have one on board.

It was a happy thought. This morning when the P.M.’s temperature went up again he became thoroughly rattled and bad-tempered, until Whitby restored morale by finding that he had a normal blood count. The trouble is that Winston always has pneumonia at the back of his mind. Now the temperature has subsided and he is quite himself again.

A third dose of pneumonia


Nettie Palmer,

‘Did notes. V. says too warm, too much informed after the event, on Len Mann at Kalorama 1933. Found phrases of his in old diary. Moral: keep good diaries with people’s phrases in them.’

N. tinkering with diaries


Arthur C. Clarke,

September 8. Upset stomach last night. Dreamed I was a robot, being rebuilt. In a great burst of energy managed to redo two chapters. Took them to Stanley, who was very pleased and cooked me a fine steak, remarking: “Joe Levine doesn’t do this for his writers.”

Dreamed I was a robot


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.