A shrewd observer of daily life, Anthony meticulously recorded events of local, national and global importance, whilst providing a unique and tantalising glimpse into the everyday happenings of a middle-class household in the well-to-do district of Bloomsbury. Set against the vivid backdrop of London life during a period of rapid change, the diaries document the intimate thoughts of a young man who possessed a true zest for life in all its forms.
His literary turn and honest approach to the topics he highlights make his writing both interesting and engaging, whilst his sharp wit and sometimes pompous tendencies provide a dose of subtle humour. Frequent disagreements with his younger brother, Charles, and the minor mortifications he suffers due to his ever-high expectations only add to this amusement. Yet, despite his flaws, Anthony Evans remains a likeable character, with whom the reader can easily connect. Indeed, in many respects, he can be likened to Charles Pooter, the hapless hero of 'Diary of a Nobody' fame.
Whilst the diaries contain some indication that Anthony wished his jottings to be read, he could not have anticipated the historical value that his diaries would hold today. As such, they may be termed an 'accidental masterpiece'; a rare resource and a wonderfully accurate account, detailing the attitudes and conventions of a middle-class family during the early nineteenth century.