The Ryle Diary

Diary from the Edge:
a wartime adolescence

the searchable text

Anthony Ryle was twelve in 1940 when he started his diary. His daily record of life at boarding school and with his family, in Cornwall and Sussex, is set against the background of war seen through his direct experience, that of family and friends, and news stories of which he was an avid collector.

His diary is a rare insight into the life of a schoolboy heading for maturity in the early 1940s. It records the current of school tasks and escapades, cadet force exercises and holiday adventures, and his fascinated exploration of the natural world which surrounded him. Amongst these everyday things, his chronicle conveys the growth over four years of a reflective personality and the emergence of a radical political outlook, prompted by the global upheaval, and by a family tradition of social concern, anti-fascism and commitment to state sponsored health provision for all.

There are some links to examples from different parts of the diary in the left sidebar.


Flexible Search Tools

Like all diaries, Anthony’s includes a wide variety of topics, and this online edition is designed to make it easy to find your way around the 300-odd pages. There is no need to guess what would be a suitable term to put in the search box, because a list of all the significant words in the diary is provided, from which you can choose a term. Alternatively, if you are interested in a particular topic – for example, evacuees – you can look this up in the topic list. This works better than searching for e.g. the word evacuee, because sometimes the names of evacuees are mentioned (e.g. Lorna, George) without indicating that they are in fact evacuees. Click on the button below for more information about searching.

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