RAI fellow Dr Sally Bayley has published The Private Life of the Diary: From Pepys to Tweets (Unbound, 2016). Her latest book explores the history of the diary as an art form: how it harbours fantasies and fictional histories, and acts as a substitute for human companionship. Surveying diarists ranging from Samuel Pepys to James Boswell, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Alan Clark, The Private Life of the Diary traces its rise and fall, from the private biography to the very public identity-building of modern media.
Published by independent, subscription-based publisher Unbound, the title has been reviewed as "an elegant survey of diaries through history and why we keep them" (Roger Lewis, Times, 26 April), and "[succeeding] brilliantly in merging scholarship with imagination, and emotional depth with writerly flair" (Independent online, 16 March). The author will discuss her work on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour on Monday 9 May.
Sally Bayley is Supernumerary Research and Teaching Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute. She is the author of works including Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual (OUP, 2007) and Home on the Horizon, America's Search for Space: from Emily Dickinson to Bob Dylan (Peter Lang, 2010), and convenes the Institute's annual summer school.