Crabb Robinson Diary

Submitted by edpope on

Introduction to a dataset

The diaries of Henry Crabb Robinson (DNB 1775-1867) are at Dr Williams Library in Gordon Square, London. Typescript of diary 1811-1867 available with a visitor's ticket (apply there). I have used the abbreviation <HCR diary> in the A-Z entries. Extracts from the diary printed in Edith J Morley "Henry Crabb Robinson on books and their writers" for which I have used the abbreviation <Morley>. Manuscripts of earlier diary,  of travel diaries, of correspondence, of "Reminiscences" and of transcriptions of the deciphered shorthand passages in the diary, on application at Dr Williams Library for special permission. I have scanned through the typescript from 1816 to 1846 and copied out the references to Charles and Eliza Aders and their friends, and my entries in this dataset are based on those notes. All the extracts from Crabb Robinson's diaries are copyright of Dr Williams Library and should not be quoted publicly without their permission. For many of these entries there were clearly many other mentions in Robinson's diary that I haven't noted or noticed and in some cases that may affect my identifications. Another important source has been Hertha Marquardt "Henry Crabb Robinson und seine Deutschen Freunde" vol 1 (1964) vol 2 (1967). This is in German and based on extensive study of the diaries, and on research into the people mentioned in them. I have used the abbreviation <Marquardt> in the A-Z entires. There is a project led by Timothy Whelan to publish first the "Reminiscences", then the travel diaries, and finally the whole diary but this could take some years. Unlike Godwin's diary, Robinson's has a full narrative of his social interactions and opinions. One thing they have in common is the extraordinary number of the people mentioned in their diaries who feature in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. They were both men who knew, and wanted to know, the influential people of their age, and I'm generally more interested in those of their friends who don't appear in the ODNB. But I think there is also a clique factor whereby the original compilers of the DNB, not so far removed in time from Godwin and Robinson, tended to choose famous people from a similar "stream" of mutual friends and acquaintances.