And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

8 September

1609
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

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1786
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

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1930
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

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1947
Nettie Palmer,
writer

‘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

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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.