Historical figures who are known to have secret coded diaries

These famous people are known to write their innermost thoughts in ciphers and codes.

A journal or diary is the place where you can be yourself and hide your innermost thoughts, fears, apprehensions and most importantly, secrets. For some, it is a way of recording some personal memories, and there have been many important personalities throughout history who are known to maintain dairies. But what sets them apart from others is the fact that they are known to write their thoughts in ciphers and codes. Here are some of the historical figures who had secret coded diaries.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Being president of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt’s life was an open book and extensively recorded. But no one is still sure about his private views, thoughts and memories as his journal written in his early twenties are written in a secret code. This coded diary was first discovered by cryptographer Dr Nona Ferndonin the year 1970 and even managed to crack it. The journal revealed various details of his life and his love interests.

Beatrix Potter

Renowned children book author Beatrix Potter who is widely known for her work “The tale of Peter Rabbit”, also maintained journals with secret codes. Her biographer Linda Lear feels that the reason why she wrote her journals in secret code from age 15 to 30 was sprung from a desire to express herself freely without any hesitation. These codes were quite difficult to decode, and it took five years for cryptographer Leslie Linder to decode these diaries. These diaries gave us more insightinto her daily life and other conversations she observed between people.

Olga Romanov

She was the eldest daughter of the last ruler Czar of Russia, Czar Nicholas II. She started maintaining a diary at the age of fifteen and kept on writing it for another ten years. Being a royal, the diary was her way of keeping her innermost thoughts a secret from others. Interestingly, she even used codewords to mention her secret crushes. The diaries were used primarily to pen down feelings for a man named Pavel Voronov, whom she loved and cherished. She stopped journaling the year her father was forced to abdicate. The next year, as we know, the whole family was murdered. Her journals were found in her belongings after her death and were decoded and published in 2013 by Helen Azar.

So, have you ever thought of inventing a secret code for your secret journals?

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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