‘I have deprived my family’

Part 7 of this series focuses on Walter Scott, a 19th century British author who fought depression and debt late in life with the inspiration and energy gained from keeping a journal.

This special Stillness of Heart series explores the Morgan Library & Museum’s fascinating exhibit, “The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives.”

Part 7 focuses on Walter Scott, a 19th century British author who fought depression and debt late in life with the inspiration and energy gained from keeping a journal. Four six years, the book became the place for him to ponder the depths and causes of his lifelong sadness, celebrate and record the famous people that moved in and out of his life, and preserve a private life he hoped his family would appreciate long after he was gone.

“November 20th. I have all my life regretted that I did not keep a regular [diary]. I have myself lost recollection of much that was interesting and I have deprived my family and the public of some curious information by not carrying this resolution into effect.”

Examine images of his powerful diary and listen to the museum’s audio guide here.

Entries in this series:
Part 1: Introduction to the exhibit and Charlotte Brontë
Part 2: Frances Eliza Grenfell
Part 3: Sophia and Nathaniel Hawthorne
Part 4: Paul Horgan
Part 5: John Newton
Part 6: Mary Ann and Septimus Palairet
Part 7: Walter Scott
Part 8: Bartholomew Sharpe
Part 9: Tennessee Williams
Part 10: John Ruskin

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

What crying accomplishes … The debt ceiling negotiations … The new Turkey … The ‘stayover’ relationship … The Santorini explosion.

Most of these great items come from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fascinating videos, articles, essays and criticism. Read past recommendations from this series here.

1. There never was a surplus
Democracy in America :: The Economist | July 27
“[T]he White House published a chart that explains how we got from the Clinton administration projection that the government would pay off its entire debt and then build up $2.3 trillion in savings by 2011, to the $10.4 trillion in debt we actually wound up with.”

2. The Volcanic Explosion at Santorini and the Destruction of Minoan Crete
By Mike Anderson | Ancient History Blog | May 13
“The fall of Minoan Crete, and for that matter Mycenae, are a mystery. There is evidence of fire at both locations as if they were attacked and burned. Was this the so called Dorian invasion or something else?”

3. The Reading List: August ’11
By Jason Kehe | Los Angeles Magazine | July 19
“Every month LAmag.com compiles titles of local interest that are hitting the bookshelves. Here, arranged by genre, are some highlights.”

4. The ‘stayover’ relationship is a new dating trend
By Jeff Mills | Nerve.com | Aug. 1
“This entails couples spending three or more nights together each week, while opting to spend the remaining nights in their own homes.”

5. Ultimate logic: To infinity and beyond
Richard Elwes | New Scientist | Aug. 1
“The mysteries of infinity could lead us to a fantastic structure above and beyond mathematics as we know it.”

6. The end of an era in Turkish politics
By Behlul Ozkan | Al Jazeera | Aug. 1
“Recent resignations by Turkish military generals may mark a change in the military’s historic role in politics.”

7. Triumphant Turkey?
By Stephen Kinzer | The New York Review of Books | August 2011
“Politically Turkey has changed more in the last ten years than it did in the previous eighty.”

8. Study: Crying Won’t Make You Feel Better
By Meredith Melnick | Healthland :: Time | Aug. 1
“[The study’s lead author] suspects that crying isn’t the physically cleansing act that many have assumed it is, and instead suggests that those who felt better after a waterworks session may not have benefited from the actual tears so much as the social support and showings of affection they elicited.”

9. Nuts and bolts
Free Exchange :: The Economist | Aug. 1
“If it really took this long for the leaders to get serious, then it’s hard not to conclude that the preceding months of partisan rhetoric, competing proposals and brinkmanship were an elaborate kabuki to appease the parties’ respective bases …”

10. Operation Barbarossa
Witness :: BBC News | June 22
“A frontline Soviet officer tells of what he saw the night that Hitler ordered Operation Barbarossa – Germany’s invasion of the USSR.”