Writing a diary is a very personal experience and yet they are a staple of the publishing world. Reading somebody else’s diary is supposed to be a heinous crime but bookshops are full of them. Despite this apparent conundrum, diaries from notable figures and ordinary people become highly collectible.
Of course, the most famous diary from an ordinary person was written by a mere schoolgirl - Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl. But how can you ignore a diary penned by a doctor describing the bombing of Hiroshima and the subsequent seven weeks?
This selection of rare diaries contains many notable names, including adventurer Lawrence of Arabia, revolutionary Che Guevara, avant-garde artist Jean Cocteau, silent movie star Rudolph Valentino, and the green-fingered author who created Biggles.