RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 435/1
Extent14 boxes
TitleCecil Harmsworth's diaries, 1900-1948
DescriptionThis section comprises Cecil Harmsworth's original manuscript diaries, which he kept between 1900 and his death in 1948. It also includes typescript and carbon copy transcripts that were made during his lifetime, as well as notes and correspondence concerning his diaries.

Cecil Harmsworth’s diaries represent a historical record of the social and political culture in Britain in the early 20th century. Harmsworth was a keen angler and his diary began as a record of his fishing trips. Following his election as an MP in the House of Commons in 1906, his diaries became increasingly political. Harmsworth’s diaries are full of observations and notes on domestic and foreign policy, parliamentary colleagues, and his political duties as an MP. In addition, Harmsworth lived through several key historical events, including the Easter Rising in Ireland and the First and Second World War. Other notable features of his diaries are descriptions of family life, travel around the world, involvement in the Garden Cities movement, and the restoration of Dr Samuel Johnson’s House in London.

In the 1940s, Cecil Harmsworth put in writing that he wished for his diaries to be published (see EUL MS 435/1/4), so it can be assumed that from a certain point onwards, he stopped writing for himself and started writing for an audience. This may have impacted what and how he recorded his life in his diaries. From the late 1920s to 1940s, Cecil Harmsworth periodically went through his diaries, editing and adding comments, and arranged for typed copies to be made by Isobel Nicholson. Both the original manuscript diaries and the typescript copies contain added manuscript notes by Harmsworth. These later notes clarify original entries and also provide insights into Harmsworth’s reflections on earlier events. Both the original manuscript diaries and the typescript copies are preserved in the archive.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsUsual EUL arrangements apply.
Creator_NameHarmsworth; Sir; Cecil Bisshopp (1869-1948); 1st Baron Harmsworth; liberal politician and businessman
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