The editor of a critical edition of William Clayton's diaries offers some general observations on the man and his writings. He focuses especially on Clayton's Nauvoo diaries (1842-46), considering them the most intriguing and revealing. The great value in Clayton's writing is in his style--simple directness. Clayton accepted Joseph Smith as his spiritual leader without question. As such, he recorded his daily associations, activities, and conversations with a sincerity and literalness. For this reason, his diaries document early 19th-century Mormon culture with clarity and accuracy.