The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.
'The comparison may be unlikely, but Virginia Woolf’s insight into her diary keeping is a pointer to what defines almost all the soldiers’ diaries that I have examined in the remarkable collection held by the Mitchell Library in the State Library of New South Wales. They are not carefully planned, they are raw and unpolished, they are a more-or-less spontaneous record or narrative of the day or the week, and they are rich with ‘diamonds’. Their pre-eminent quality is an unpretentious authenticity and immediacy, a realism matched by no other literary form in the records of wartime experience.' (Author's introduction)