Eric Rudsdale was an avid reader of diaries, in particular the diaries of Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn and Francis Kilvert, the journals of Dorothy Wordsworth and the diary kept by the 19th century Colchester antiquarian, William Wire. All of these diaries inspired him to keep his own diary as this entry from his 1929 Journal explains:
1st January 1929
It is my ambition to become a diarist, and I think that a successful journal should contain the domestic and social interest of Pepys, the travellings of Evelyn, and in my case the careful observation on buildings and drains of William Wire. That then is my aim in this and future volumes. If I succeed or not, it will at least be my best. I must, of course, crave pardon for suggesting that events appertaining to my home life might be of interest, but I think perhaps one day some one may be interested in the social life of the 20th century, although from the present trend of affairs it seems doubtful.
A reader of Eric's blog has drawn my attention to George Orwell's wartime diaries which are also being published on-line 70 years after they were first written. These form an interesting parallel to Eric's journal entries and I hope readers will find them of interest.
It is striking how often these diary accounts remain relevant to events of today. Eric's New Year's Day 1940 entry has been cleverly updated to 2010 to good effect in a comment on Robert Peston's (the BBC's Business Editor) blog for the New Year - see comment 137.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Eric's blog to date and hope you will continue to enjoy his diary through 1940. CP
E.J. Rudsdale Talk
I will be giving a talk as part of the Chelmsford Ideas Festival on E.J. Rudsdale's Journals, entitled 'Creating History: A Civilian's Experience of the Second World War in Essex' on Thursday 30th October from 7.30-9.00pm at Anglia Ruskin University. Tickets are free. Book your ticket here. Many thanks, Catherine Pearson