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  • Published: 18 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781841593791
  • Imprint: Everyman
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 900
  • RRP: $48.00

Samuel Pepys: The Diaries



The most famous diarist in the English language, Samuel Pepys kept a detailed record of his daily life between 1660 and 1669. Not only is it a key historical resource, but also a fascinating and entertaining read. Kate Loveman's selection, with helpful footnotes, is the only one-volume edition available.

When Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) began writing in 1660 he was a young clerk living in London, struggling to pay his rent. Over the next nine years as he kept his journal, he rose to be a powerful naval administrator. He became eyewitness to some of the most significant events in seventeenth-century English history, among them, the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 (he was in the ship that brought back Charles II from exile), the plague that ravaged the capital in 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666, described with poetry and horror. Pepys's diary gives vivid descriptions of spectacular events, but much of the richness of the diary lies in the details it provides about the minor dramas of daily life. While Pepys was keen to hear the King's views, he was also ready to talk with a soldier, a housekeeper, or a child rag-picker. He records with searing frankness his tumultuous personal and professional life: the pleasures and frustrations of his marriage, together with his infidelities, his ambitions, and his power schemes. All of this was set down in shorthand, to protect it from prying eyes. The result is a lively, often astonishing, diary and an unrivalled account of life in seventeenth-century London.

  • Published: 18 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781841593791
  • Imprint: Everyman
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 900
  • RRP: $48.00

About the author

Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys was born in London in 1633, the son of a tailor. He was educated at St. Paul's School, London, and Magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1655 he married and in the following year entered the household of his cousin Admiral Edward Montagu. In 1660 he became the Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board (the same year in which he began his diary). In 1669, the year in which he closed his diary, his wife died. In 1672 he was appointed Secretary to the Admiralty, an appointment he held with one interruption of four years at the end of Charles II's reign until the Glorious Revolution when he retired from public life.

As well as being one of the most important civil servants of his age, he was a widely cultivated man, taking a learned interest in books, music, the theatre, and science. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1684 and later served as President. He died childless in 1703. His contemporary John Evelyn remembered him as 'universally beloved, hospitable, generous, learned in many things'.

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