Facing Facts: Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862).
Thoreau recorded his observations, thoughts, and revelations in dozens of notebooks, strong in the belief that a closely examined life would yield infinite riches.
Amazing Grace: John Newton (1725–1807). Once a slave trafficker, John Newton felt called to the ministry and wrote the most enduring hymn of all time—"Amazing Grace." He kept a copious diary of his spiritual progress.
Final Years of a Full Life: Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832). Sir Walter Scott spent the last years of his life furiously writing himself out of debt and resisting the "cold sinkings of the heart" that periodically dogged him.
Sex, Drugs, and Ennui: Tennessee Williams (1911–1983). At the height of his literary success, dramatist Tennessee Williams was full of anxiety and dependent on drugs and alcohol. His diary revealed his inner anguish.
Newlyweds: Sophia (1809-1871) and Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
After their marriage in 1842, Sophia and Nathaniel Hawthorne kept a diary together, reading each other's words and building a record of their intimacy.
Fighting for Mental Health: John Ruskin (1819–1900). After recovering from a psychotic break, English critic John Ruskin was determined to remain stable and continue to work. He tracked his health in his diary.
The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.