Saturday, 19 May 2018


Tallulah Bankhead: 

"Only good girls keep diaries. Bad girls don't have time."

Fanny Burney, March 1768:

"To have some account of my thoughts, manners, acquaintances and actions, when the hour arrives in which time is more nimble than memory, is the reason which induces me to keep a journal."

Gwendolen in "The Importance of Being Earnest"

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train."

Sir Henry 'Chips' Channon, July 26 1935:

“I feel caddish, even treacherous sometimes, keeping this diary from the eyes of my wife yet it is our only secret ... What is more dull than a discreet diary? One might just as well have a discreet soul.”

Channon a year later.

"I sometimes wonder why I keep a diary at all. Is it to relieve my feelings? Console my old age? Or to dazzle my descendants?"

Sir Harold Nicolson, 9 November 1947 (after reading Pepys):

"It is some relief to reflect that to be a good diarist one must have a little snouty, sneaky mind."

A.J.P. Taylor

"In the days of my youth I kept a diary – not occasional reflections set down at the instruction of an editor but systematic jottings recording the events of each day. The diary became a slavery. Not a day passed without my sitting down to write in it. I imposed events on myself so that I should have something to write about. Passages were inserted in order to please or sometimes to offend my friends and relations. In fact, there came a time when the diary existed more than I did. When I reached man’s estate I ceased to write in my diary and destroyed all the previous volumes. I have never regretted this decision. All that remains of my diary-keeping is a reading-list in which I have recorded the titles of all the books I have read from 1926 to the present day. This comes in useful to remind me of books I had quite forgotten. It also fills me with shame to discover the amount of time I wasted on books not worth reading. But this is a habit that still persists."

Enoch Powell

"I do not keep a diary. Never have. To write a diary every day is like returning to one's own vomit."

Andrew Lycett

"Dining with Lord Holland in February 1832, Greville met the historian Thomas (later Lord) Macaulay for the first time. He was soon disillusioned: 
"It was not till Macaulay stood up that I was aware of all the vulgarity and ungainliness of his appearance; not a ray of intellect beams from his countenance; a lump of more ordinary clay never enclosed a powerful mind and lively imagination." 
No wonder Lord John Manners likened Greville to 'Judas writing the lives of the Apostles'."

1 comment:

  1. What did you think of the black preacher and choir?