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The Joys of Excess (Penguin Great Food) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Great Food
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241956382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241956380
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,014,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A visceral, earthy writer -- Hermione Lee Vigorous, precise, enchanting ... the most ordinary and the most extraordinary writer you will ever meet -- Claire Tomalin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) was a naval administrator and Member of Parliament but is best remembered as a diarist. Kept between 1660-1669 and written in Shelton's shorthand, Pepys' diary recorded major historical events, like the plague and The Great Fire of London alongside his more personal concerns and activities, including politics, his work in public life and rows with his wife, Elizabeth. Throughout are his fulsome thoughts on food, including his first encounter with drinking chocolate.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By NyiNya TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
For most of us, Pepys diaries are a bit of a slog. Fascinating in part, slow going and endlesss in others. These excerpts give you all the flavor of life in the 17th Century, but none of that long wait between courses. I've always thought that one of the best ways to understand an individual or a people was to see what and how they eat. That really holds true in this collection of Pepys' meals.

If the idea of the full course Pepys journey is daunting, or if you've read the diary and just want to see some of the best bits again, "The Joys of Excess" is exactly right. Pepys' gossipy, adulterous little heart is revealed, we get a clear and detailed look at what people in Restoration London thought,talked about and wore, as well as what and how they ate.

Best of all that mean little courtier's wit is not sacrificed. At a dinner with friends and colleagues, the son of a rival bureaucrat imbibes a too heartily and is sent home by his embarrassed parents. The inebriated boy returns and oafishly polishes off yet another bottle. Says Pepys: "...so that Will did heartily anger his father and mother by staying. At which I and my wife were much pleased." Nicely put.

Pepys, his "dalliances" and his dinners are superb entertainment. The editing is commendable. The fascinating events of the day get full coverage, we learn quite a bit about Whitehall and the reign of Charles II and the cheery licentiousness of Old Rowley's court. All in all, this collection is a historical feast with many of the best bites from the Diaries. Enjoy.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lulu from Philly on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was intended for a Christmas gift. The recipient wasn't too thrilled. The entire series published by Penguin Books is really quite clever. They took works by famous individuals, some from the culinary world and reproduced them. I thought it was interesting to read about life in other times. Kudos to Penguin for doing this, anyway!
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