The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.
J M Barrie
One thing that modern historians constantly bemoan is the fact that people no longer write letters and rarely keep diaries. The keeping of diaries has even been banned from many political venues. The excuse is that they are a security risk. The truth probably is fear of dirty laundry aired in some eventual book. Today we write blogs. Let us hope some among us are printing out hard copies.
In Helene's Hamff's marvelous "84 Charing Cross Road" she expresses a love for non fiction by wishing that Chaucer had written about his life as a diplomat in the court of Edward III rather than wasting his time with "The Canterbury Tales". It is the insight of a time and place from someone saying, "I was there".
Over the centuries many famous diaries, memoirs, and autobiographies have been written. Today's pictures are Ann Frank, Anais Nin and Samuel Pepys, three famous diarists who have virtually nothing in common but all of whom shed light on their lives and time. This is the heart of the diarist, the need to speak quietly about their surroundings and then leaving behind a treasure to be discovered by the rest of us.
You work is appreciated Presidents Adams, Grant and Truman. Please accept our gratitude Mary Chestnut, Oscar Wilde, and Ralph Emerson. A bow in your direction Lewis Carroll, Ellen Terry and Frida Kahlo. What would the struggle for civil rights be without a record of your thoughts Frederick Douglas and W. E. B. Dubois? To all the thousands of diarists known and as yet unknown across the centuries: Thank you.
Well don't just sit there: Go write something!