Sandra's Reviews > The Diary of Samuel Pepys

The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys
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Jan 07, 12

bookshelves: classics, history-biography
Read in January, 2012

I was able to read one whole year of Pepys life--1666--as a free Kindle book. I then reviewed the rest of the diary and the entirety of Pepys life via the website: http://www.pepysdiary.com/about/

This is a fascinating glimpse at what upper-class life must have been like during the Restoration years in London. There is a real benefit is reading a day-by-day, slodging-through-ordinary life account like this that cannot be matched in chronological narratives that cover wider periods, focusing just on noteworthy events. I came away with real respect for this very hard-working, hard worrying, and hard partying historic figure.

It's a wonder how anybody got anything done ever because these people spent their entire day in transit trying to catch their business acquaintances at home or in the office or in some public place, constantly getting waylaid by other people in so doing. There are long passages devoted to his efforts to secure a coach or a ferry, or to navigating streets that are muddy, trying to get somewhere. There were no phones or other means to check ahead before leaving the house!

Samuel Pepys was a man of immense responsibility and privilege, who took great joy in his own accomplishments, wealth, and in his many entertainments and infidelities. He was also tortured by various fears concerning his and his family's health, and was extremely paranoid about the state of the economy, the unstable political times, the Plague, and other matters--mostly with good cause. The month of September concerns the horrific fire that wiped out a good part of the City of London and Mr. Pepys involvement in trying to bring order to the City and preserve his own belongings.
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message 1: by Just1MoreBook (new)

Just1MoreBook This sounds so interesting. I'll have to check it out on my Kindle. Thanks for the tip Sandra and for the informative review.


Sandra I just loved it and the fact that this (and other classics) are free on Kindle is just wonderful. Another way to read Sam's diary or to get an overview and some perspective on it is this wonderful website:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/about/
(oops, see I already provided this above) Part of it was just the time period that he lived and his access to important people. I thought 1666 was a particularly interesting year (what with the Plague and the Fire). Another was the year Charles II was restored to the Crown as Pepys was actually part of the party that went over to France and brought him home. I think that was the first year of the Diary, 1660 or 1661. If you read the overview, it lets you click on specific dates of interest


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