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Samuel Pepys (1633–1703)

Author of The Shorter Pepys

353+ Works 5,845 Members 77 Reviews 20 Favorited
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About the Author

Samuel Pepys was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man. By his hard work and his talent for administration, he rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II show more and King James II. The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century, and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London. Pepys's diary has become a national monument. The diary was written in one of the many standard forms of shorthand used in Pepys's time, in this case called Tachygraphy; devised by Thomas Shelton. At the end of May 1669, he reluctantly concluded that, for the sake of his eyes, he should completely stop writing and, from then on, only dictate to his clerks which meant he could no longer keep his diary. In total, Pepys wrote for approximately nine years. This collection of both personal and political accounts is an important timepiece that illustartes life in 17th Century England. When Pepys died on May 26, 1703, he had no children and left his entire estate to his nephew, John Jackson. His estate included over 3,000 volumes in his collection of books. All of these were indexed and catalogued; they form one of the most important surviving private laibraries of the 17th century. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Series

Works by Samuel Pepys

The Shorter Pepys (0017) 612 copies
The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1825) 525 copies
The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1921) 449 copies
The Illustrated Pepys (1978) 360 copies
The Great Fire of London (1996) 230 copies
The Concise Pepys (1988) — Author — 197 copies
Everybody's Pepys (1669) 112 copies
Pepys' Diary (3 Volume Set) (1981) 66 copies
The Joys of Excess (2011) 57 copies
The Works of Samuel Pepys (1958) 33 copies
Pepys's Later Diaries (2004) 24 copies
King Charles Preserved (1956) 20 copies
Samuel Pepys: The Diaries (2018) 16 copies
Diarios (1660-1669) (2004) 14 copies
The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1890) 12 copies
Samuel Pepys' Diary (1932) 4 copies
Pepys' Diary 2 copies
Peeps into Pepys (1908) 2 copies
Dziennik Samuela Pepysa (1978) 2 copies
DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS (1927) 2 copies
Der erotische Pepys (2007) 2 copies
London's Great Plague (2014) 1 copy
A Pepysian Garland (2009) 1 copy
The Diary of Samuel Pepys Vol. 2 — Author — 1 copy
Journal 1 copy
The diary of Samuel Pepys: Excerpts (1991) — Author — 1 copy
His Majesty Preserved (1954) 1 copy
Pepysiana 1 copy
Pepys Dagbog (2005) 1 copy
The Diary of Mr Pepys (1930) 1 copy
Dagbog (1972) 1 copy
A SHORTER PEPYS (1935) 1 copy

Associated Works

Tagged

17th century (471) 17th century history (40) 17th century literature (37) 18th century (28) anthology (159) autobiography (333) biography (421) Britain (51) British (58) British history (111) British literature (40) Charles II (31) Christmas (29) classic (32) classics (43) diary (980) Engels (31) England (252) English (64) English History (105) English literature (161) essays (28) fiction (57) Folio Society (77) Great Britain (27) hardcover (31) history (643) journal (140) literature (185) London (249) memoir (180) non-fiction (361) Pepys (245) poetry (72) read (35) restoration (119) Samuel Pepys (146) to-read (153) UK (34) unread (47)

Common Knowledge

Birthdate
1633-02-23
Date of death
1703-05-26
Burial location
St Olave's Church, London, England, UK
Gender
male
Nationality
England
Country (for map)
England, UK
Birthplace
London, England, UK
Place of death
Clapham, London, England, UK
Places of residence
London, England, UK
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Brampton, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Clapham, England, UK
Education
Huntingdon School, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
St Paul's School, London
University of Cambridge (Magdalene College|BA|1654)
Occupations
naval administrator
diarist
Member of Parliament
Relationships
Pepys, Elisabeth (wife)
Organizations
Royal Society (President, 1684-1686)
Member of Parliament
Awards and honors
Fellow, Royal Society (1665)
Short biography
Samuel Pepys was an eyewitness to numerous great events of his day, including the Restoration of King Charles II, the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of London in 1666. He chronicled all these events for about a decade in a day-to-day diary that is considered one of the greatest historical records and journals in the English language.

Members

Discussions

3 volume Pepys set in Folio Society Devotees (September 2023)
Samuel Pepys in Annus mirabilis (September 2023)
Pepys' Library in Legacy Libraries (September 2011)

Reviews

This is a classic, once you've read it you never forget it, even if you didn't really like it.

FROM AMAZON: The Diary of Samuel Pepys is one of the most entertaining documents in English history. Written between 1660 and 1669, as Pepys was establishing himself as a key administrator in the naval office, it is an intimate portrait of life in 17th-century England covering his professional and personal activities, including, famously, his love of music, theatre, food, wine and his peccadilloes.… (more)
 
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Gmomaj | 5 other reviews | Jan 20, 2023 |
*This is a review of the Penguin Little Black Classics edition*

I have heard so much about the diaries of Samuel Pepys: That they are interesting and funny, but also that they are very heard to read, boring and long. So when I saw this Little Black Classic, I thought that it would be a good way to just dip into this work and have a look.
This book contains excerpts from the diaries focused on two topics. The first contains entries from the period when the plague hit London in 1665 and Pepys was concerned with the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the second part consists of entries about the fire.
Most reviews I read say that the first part is very boring compared to the second part, when the fire provides a more interesting backdrop, but to me both parts are equally interesting. I might even like the first part a bit more, because of all the fascinating small details making up the writer's daily life in 1665, for example, having to look at his pocket watch every few minutes because he is so fascinated by it (and proud to own it, I guess!) or admiring fish living in a glass. It strikes me how many of the writer's worries are similar to our own: He feels sorry because he cannot see his mother more due to duties at work, he is tired in the mornings and kind of wishes for a better work life balance, but is worried about how others might perceive his work ethos, he likes new clothing and discusses the fittings of his new suits with his wife... It all sounds so familiar, and it seems that people do not really change after all.
Of course, the second part is a little more exciting action wise. Pepys eyes the fire from day to day, travels all over London and describes what he sees, endeavors to rescue his belongings and goes through some hardships while being aware that others have it much worse. These entries are much longer, but I read them quicker because more things happen in them.

So do I want to read all of the diaries one day? I am still on the fence. If so, it will be a very long project. I am wondering if audio would be a good idea. I will see...
… (more)
 
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MissBrangwen | 3 other reviews | Nov 5, 2022 |
If an edition doesn’t mention his neighbour’s cellar flooding with turds that overflow into his cellar, then swap it for a better version!
 
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Meg18 | 8 other reviews | Aug 16, 2022 |
Basically, I skimmed this book. The diary of Samuel Pepys is just that, a daily notation of his activities. As a person, he was a flagrant and frequent adulterer, a financially astute man of letters, and apparently a good representation of an upper class man of the 1660s. He lived to see Charles II crowned and to survive the plague. I think this book would be of more interest to an historian.
 
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hemlokgang | 4 other reviews | Jan 23, 2022 |

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Works
353
Also by
11
Members
5,845
Popularity
#4,223
Rating
4.1
Reviews
77
ISBNs
254
Languages
7
Favorited
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