BBC News: The secret code of diaries
There is a certain thrill to cracking a code. The 300,000-word journal of Charles Wesley, the co-founder of the Methodist movement, which was written in an obscure shorthand, has been solved and the diary transcribed. It has taken nine years.
Wesley’s is not the only diary that has used a code, however, with everyone from Beatrix Potter to British prisoners of war using their secret diaries to express feelings that no-one else was meant to understand.
There are excerpts from Charles Wesley’s diary, Beatrix Potter’s, Donald Hill’s (an RAF officer who was a Japanese prisoner of war during WWII), and Lord Hailsham’s (former Lord Chancellor). My paper diary isn’t in code, though my handwriting is like drunken spider tracks. I go through phases of diary writing, and I haven’t written much this year. I started writing it in 1993 when I got to university, and it’s continued into fifteen volumes.