One of the books I have on my bookshelves is described by The Times newspaper as ‘Utterly compulsive’. I agree with them. The book is called ‘The Assassin’s Cloak’ with a sub-title ‘An anthology of the world’s greatest diarists’ and was edited by Irene & Alan Taylor and published by Canongate Books in 2000.
You are seeing this on 8th March or later but I am writing it on 4th March while waiting for a man to come and rebuild a blown-down fence!
Now for the quality – this piece is written by Virginia Woolf on 8th March 1918:
‘Going up the lift at Holborn the other day I stood next to a boy of fourteen or so, whose head only was visible among the crowd. I noticed that it was an extremely interesting, sensitive, clever, observant head; rather sharp, but independent looking. One couldn’t tell from his cap whether he was well off or not. I came to the conclusion that he was the son of an officer with whom he stood. When we got into the street I looked at once at his legs. His trousers had holes in them. From that one could judge what a wretched affair his life will be.’