Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys

The Unequalled Self

Book - 2002
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Blackwell North Amer
For ten years, from 1660, Samuel Pepys kept one of the most remarkable records ever made of a human life. With astounding candour and perceptiveness he described his ambitions and speculations, his professional success and failures, his pettinesses and meannesses, his tenderness towards his wife and the irritation and jealousies she provoked, his extramarital longings and fumblings, his coolly critical attitude towards the king he served and his watchful adaptation to the corrupt and treacherous society in which he lived.
Claire Tomalin traces Pepys's youth before the diary began, the poor tailor's son, the schoolboy who rejoiced at the execution of Charles I, the aspiring clerk working for Cromwell's senior officials and his transformation into a royalist who helped escort Charles II back to England and the throne. She illuminates his ability as an administrator and his greatness as a writer and she follows the extraordinary switchback career of triumphs and disasters that continued for three decades after the diary ended. Finally she shows how he made sure that the diary would be preserved for posterity, and how it took three centuries for the full text to be printed.

Publisher: London : Viking, 2002
ISBN: 9780670885688
Characteristics: xxxix, 499 p., [24] p. of plates : ill., maps, ports. ; 24 cm


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reynpa Dec 22, 2011

Absolutely fascinating. Pepys was a singular character, but the book's greatest richness is its detailed portrait of 17th century upper middle class life in London. I found myself constantly surprised by ithe sophistication of the place, and riveted to read about a great city in its formative years.

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