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Entertaining Mr Pepys (Women of Pepys’ Diary, #3)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  18 reviews
London 1666

Elizabeth ‘Bird’ Carpenter has a wonderful singing voice, and music is her chief passion. When her father persuades her to marry horse-dealer Christopher Knepp, she suspects she is marrying beneath her station, but nothing prepares her for the reality of life with Knepp. Her father has betrayed her trust, for Knepp cares only for his horses; he is a tyrant and a
Published September 2019

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Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
InEntertaining Mr Pepys, the reader gets a portrait of (at least) two unhappy marriages: that of Bird and her uncouth husband, Christopher Knepps; and Elisabeth, long-suffering wife of diarist Samuel Pepys who possesses a roving eye when it comes to the ladies.

Despite what you might expect from the title, it’s quite a way into the book before Bird and Pepys encounter each other in any meaningful way. (In the author’s historical note she records there are 108 references to Elizabeth Knepp in
Lana Kortchik
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having enjoyed Deborah Swift's other books in the past, I was looking forward to reading Entertaining Mr Pepys and I wasn't disappointed! What an emotional and at times heart-breaking story of friendship, love, ambition and sacrifice. I became so engrossed in the book, I didn't want to put it down and didn't want it to end.
What I found interesting about this book is how it addresses sensitive issues of race, sexuality and women's rights in seventeenth-century London. 'A woman with no husband
Andrea Zuvich
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full review to come on The Seventeenth Century Lady website.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This must be one of my most anticipated new releases for 2019 and it does not disappoint! The last of the Pepys series brings us to the newly opened theatres when women are only just being allowed to act on the stage. Our heroine Bird is stuck in a dismal life with a dour, severe husband, but when she sees the theatre for the first time, she knows that she's found her calling. The characters are beautifully nuanced and the story is full of rich historical details. I felt like I spent time in ...more
Terry Tyler
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an excellent trilogy this is! Three books set in the Restoration era London of Samuel Pepys, with him as a secondary character. I think #2 is still my favourite (actually one of my favourite books of the past ten years), but I loved this one, too.

This is the story of Mary Elizabeth 'Bird' Knepp, a young woman stuck in a ghastly prison of a marriage, until one day she goes to the theatre, and knows straight away that this is where she is meant to be. But this is no drudgery-to-diamonds
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this story to be a riveting read! The story moved along at a good pace with plenty of interesting events. Bird had been pushed by her father and stepmother into a marriage of convenience for them but had no thought of Bird’s feelings. Finding herself in a loveless marriage, Bird found a place in the theatre and there was an insightful look into the backstage characters and their actions. There was also the war with the Dutch and how this affect a black servant called Livy. The racial ...more
Elizabeth St.John
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining Mr Pepys is a glorious rollicking adventure through Restoration London with a colorful group of players and a backdrop of aristocratic patrons, detestable husbands and delightful, rascally Mr Pepys. Starring in this novel, 17th Century London is the real entertainer, introducing horse thieves and actors, maids and mistresses into its melting pot of character-filled alleyways and candle-lit theatres. I honestly couldn’t put this down, for not only did I love the people, I became ...more
gwendalyn _books_
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

The third in Deborah Swift’s atmospheric trilogy, bringing to life the women in Pepys’ Diary. Each novel features a different character and can be read as a stand-alone book.
A remarkably beguiling read. It transported me to the glitter and filth of seventeenth century London’ –Martine Bailey, author of The AlmanackThe fusion of historical
Connie Saunders
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Entertaining Mr. Pepys begins in 1659 when Mary Elizabeth "Bird" Carpenter enters a loveless marriage that has been arranged by her father. It is also when she first meets Livvy, a blackamoor, and a very special friendship begins between Bird and her maid. Bird's life with Christopher Knepp isn't easy and and it is Livvy who helps her through these times. Bird even considers going back to her father's house and when she does, she finds that 'Dorcas was putting her 'woman's touch' on her family ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I must say I've never read a book quite like this before.
When I seen the title I knew I had to give it a try.
I have had theater experience before but I was in the orchestra part of it. We were doing the background part of it. But, it was still a joy because I still got to hear the people on the stage act out their parts. Although I'm pretty sure that today's theater is a lot different in the 1660's.
I never knew that there was a Great Fire of London. You know, this author writes this scene so
Jamie Brydone-Jack

Of course I have heard of the most famous diarist in the English language, Mr. Pepys. So, of course, I was intrigued by the concept of this novel, where the life of one of the women mentioned in his diary is explored. Of course, we cannot know as much about Mrs. Knepp as is told in this tale, but oh, what a life she led. I will admit I did not like aspects of this book. I think I have been reading far too many dark romances lately, and I am quite sick of the darkness. As one who reads
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it

Bird Knepp loves music and has a wonderful singing voice. When she visits the theatre for the first time, she is so enthralled that she vows to become an actress, the antithesis to her disastrous marriage and life of drudgery. Despite her husband controlling her every move and the cruel punishment that awaits her should Knepp discover she has disobeyed him, Bird's courage and determination to follow her dream never wavers. Begrudgingly, Knepp allows Bird to continue with the theatre when she
Norma Jean
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was gifted an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

The title of the book, while part of a trilogy, is almost a misnomer as there is a very small section where Mr. Pepys even appears more than half-way through the book. I had not read the first two so the connectedness was not there.

The story is set in the 17th century and is a good depiction of the life and times of the era. Mary Elisabeth "Bird" Carpenter is basically pawned off to the highest taker of a modest dowry, one
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Hidden Gems in exchange for an honest review.

Historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine, and I am quite familiar with excerpts from The Diary of Samuel Pepys. I knew he was quite the Lothario, and that made it interesting to read this book. Entertaining Mr. Pepys reads like a slice of life of London in the mid 1600's. Based loosely on the diary, this story went deeper into Mrs. Knepp's life and showcased what it was like for a wife
Mary Yarde
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

“Her father had lied. There was nothing in the least handsome or well-favoured about Mr Knepp…”

There was a price to unhappiness, and Mary Elizabeth (Bird) Carpenter knew its value — thirty-five guineas. Bird’s father had betrayed her in the most hideous of ways. He had married her to a man who was not only below her station but was cold, hard and callous. How was she to survive in a world with no gentle words, no careful wooing, no intelligent conversation and no music?

Abandoned by her father,
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bird was in a loveless marriage and had no joy in her life. Then one day she went to the theater and loved it. She decided she wanted to be on stage too. This changed her life. Women were just beginning to be allowed to perform on stage. The people in this book are actual people and it's interesting reading about their lives. The story is very detailed and you feel like you know these people. You can visualize the entire story and see what is happening as you read about it. All the way from ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining Mr Pepys is the third and sadly the final installment from Deborah Swift’s Women of Pepys’ Diary series. Since I have enjoyed the first two book of the series, I was looking forward for this book to release. I was not disappointed. It is probably my favorite of the three. Bird is a great character I loved getting to know. The author’s talent really shines through with her vivid historical details.
Entertaining Mr Pepys gets five stars from me. I highly recommend this book and the
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book free and an ARC reader for review.

Well... that was depressing.

I realize that times were different, but Bird was such a victim. Maybe it was her naivety. Her character did grow as she aged but she felt flat, like a mirror to others around her.

I did, however, enjoy the snapshot of London. Watching the action take place against a background of history is always fascinating.
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I am a novelist living in the Lake District in England. I write historical fiction but read widely - contemporary and classic fiction. I choose my books carefully, so I don't read many duds. If I do, they are not reviewed here, as a gesture of respect to other writers.

I blog at my website