Diaries are personally written records of daily life and opinions organized by date, by a person. The art of diary-keeping became popular in around the 18th century, and the practice reached its peak during the Victorian era. While personalized diaries were usually meant to record the private thoughts of the person who owns it, this has given us important insights into historical events from the past and everything from culture, language and everyday life of the diarist.
The introduction of Diaries
People have been creating daily records for business purposes in the form of corporate diaries for years, but the concept of a diary in which the writer also records their personal thoughts took longer to develop.
One of the earliest examples of a diary belongs to Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Emperor who lived in 2nd century AD. During the Renaissance, people began keeping diaries as a way to express opinions without having any intention to publish their writings one day.
The earliest recorded use of the word “diary” in reference to a personal written daily record was in the year 1605.
Increase in Popularity of Diaries
Until the 18th century, it was most common for men to write diaries to write daily notes about their business activities or farming records. Others kept spiritual diaries, as a way of communication with the almighty, with which they would count their blessings and confess their sins to the Lord. As literacy rates increased over time, the cost of paper reduced and people started becoming more aware of the practice of diary writing.
The first publication of private diaries occurred in the year 1818, which was John Evelyn’s record of his daily life in 17th century England.
The number of diaries published doubled every year in the late 1820’s, reaching a peak in the early 1830’s which remained the same for about 20 years. Simultaneously, authors began using the concept based on diary writing as a structure through with they developed their novels. A famous example of diary novels is, the bestseller for over a decade, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights (1847).
To cash in on the popularity of published diaries, the Letts company began to produce large formatted diaries in the 1820s. By the 1850s, they were successfully selling about thousands of diaries every year.
In the later periods, diaries became far more popular with women than with men, and writing diaries was often considered to be silly by men. However, this opinion did not stop diarists to stop writing diaries. Diary writing has proven to be a popular past time, no matter what your age is. Diaries have also offered historians an invaluable ocean of information regarding first ever encounters historical events and the day-to-day practices of our ancestors over time.
Start writing Your Own Diary
Diary writing has been a favorite pastime for humans over centuries, and it continues to be practiced even today.
It is proven by research that journaling can have surprisingly many tangible health benefits, which includes improvements in mood, stress levels, and symptoms of depression. It can also be noticed that a person who writes a diary regularly, tends to be more calm and organized with both their thoughts as well as their day-to-day activities. Writing diaries opens up new dimensions to the way you think and perceive any given situation. It also a simple way to pen down your thoughts, to give yourself a clear vision, convey your feelings in a better manner and also maybe even change the world through your words, who knows someday even your thoughts could be of historic significance for the future beings! You don’t have to be a laurel in a language to want to write a diary, it is the simplest yet elegant way to communicate with yourself. A part of you, lives on, through the words that you’ve written.
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