Decoding The Diary

When English clergyman and renowned orator Frederick W. Robertson died in 1853, his reputation was such that the city of Brighton shut down for a day to mourn his passing. Robertson was one of the most respected Anglican figures of the 19th century. However, whispers of affairs carried on well after his death. There was even rumor of a lost diary that, if deciphered, would reveal tightly-kept secrets that contradicted his public life.

These tales were widely disregarded for more than 100 years until a former nun, armed with curiosity and unwavering persistence, managed to obtain the legendary tome and crack the code.

Dr. Marilyn Thomas, Professor of English at Menlo College, scoured the globe to track down Robertson's sermons. After identifying the owner of the diary and a stack of Robertson's correspondence, the story finally came together in the form of Dr. Thomas's latest book, The Diary: Sex, Death, and God in the Affairs of a Victorian Cleric.

During her arduous quest, Dr. Thomas found encouragement from Robertson himself.

“To paraphrase,” Dr. Thomas Explains, “he said we care [about the lives of others] because we are all human and therefore are more alike than we are different. […] In their essence, the lives of others are mirrors of our own. They help us understand ourselves.”