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The Diary of Samuel Pepys (Modern Library) Hardcover – June 26, 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Pepys led a full, varied and voraciously-enjoyed life and clearly took pleasure in setting it all down in plain words. Unlike most frantically busy men, he had remarkable powers of observation."
--Paul Johnson

"The bald truth about oneself, what we are all too timid to admit when we are not too dull to see it, that was what Pepys saw clearly and set down unsparingly."
--Robert Louis Stevenson

"Alexander conquered the world; but Pepys, with a keener, more selfish understanding of life, conquered a world for every sense."
--Charles Whibley

From the Inside Flap

The diary which Samuel Pepys kept from January 1660 to May 1669 ...is one of our greatest historical records and... a major work of English literature, writes the renowned historian Paul Johnson. A witness to the coronation of Charles II, the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666, Pepys chronicled the events of his day. Originally written in a cryptic shorthand, Pepys's diary provides an astonishingly frank and diverting account of political intrigues and naval, church, and cultural affairs, as well as a quotidian journal of daily life in London during the Restoration.

In 1825, when Pepys's memoirs were first published, Francis Jeffrey of The Edinburgh Review declared, "We can scarcely say that we wish it a page shorter... it is very entertaining thus to be transported into the very heart of a time so long gone by; and to be admitted into the domestic intimacy, as well as the public councils of a man of great activity and circulation in the reign of Charles II." Edited and abridged by literary critic and author Richard Le Gallienne, this edition features an Introduction by Robert Louis Stevenson.
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; New edition edition (June 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679642218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679642213
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,060,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
The posted reviews giving this a high rating are NOT OF THIS KINDLE EDITION, but are of the printed Latham-Matthews edition. That is a wonderful edition, but this one is the first, 19th-century bowdlerized version, which in particular glosses over Pepys's entertaining sexeual escapades. A modern reader should wait for something better to come along.
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Format: Paperback
Walter Isaacson said that Ben Franklin was the Founding Father `that winks at us'.

Samuel Pepys was the first historical robust rascal I read that had a wicked, witty sense of humor that shines clear through the centuries, so that I felt he was winking at us too. Separated by a hundred years, these two huge men are joined by a sense of fun, by enjoying and living their significant lives to the very utmost. It shows in their actions as well as their writings - and no one is sure why Samuel wrote his diaries in such great and often unflattering detail, and in a code he designed himself - and in the obvious esteem their peers held these two public servants.

When we lived in London for about seven years my wife and two sons would often explore the city, and often took along one of the `complete' diaries with us and revisited - as one still can - many of naughty Samuel's favorite flirting, drinking and eating spots. As recently as 2009 my family was able to float down the Thames to an Inn that Pepys often visited and were still able to sit at windows on wooden benches and eat "whitebait and brown bread" as he did.

Spanning the several decades of his significant career in the creation of the British Navy, through England's own revolution and shortly lived Republic and the eventual return of the Monarch that Pepys served so well, the diaries (and there are several volumes) detail his day to day life in great personal detail that draw strong mind pictures of those dramatic times. The reader can "see" him hiding his wheel of Parmesan Cheese by burying it in the Admiralty yard, reporting to the King on the Great Fire of London, surveying and establishing His Majesty's Dockyards at Chatham and Sheerness.

Pepys offers the reader deep insight to parts of a rich, full life of many contributions and public service, of scandal and intrigue, of plots and flirting - a fascinating history.
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Format: Hardcover
When I started reading the diary, I expected it to be extremely boring and very old fashioned (seeing how it was written in the 1600's) - how wrong I was!!!

Samuel Pepys (pronounced 'peeps') is a human, funny, moody man who has his ups and downs like the rest of us. His narrative during the plague records his concern about neighbors, and his real sorrow when people he knows succumb to it. He also records his experiences during the great fire of London in 1666 and his first mention of it strikes me as entirely human - he says that his maids wake him as they have heard of the fire and as it is not near his doorstep he simply goes back to bed as he's tired. He has arguments with his wife, and has cast a lusty eye upon the kings mistress for years! He also has, what I call 'mini affairs' where he kisses and fondles women quite regularly, (including his own maids) and seems to have no guilt about this whatsoever. Most mornings he 'drinks' his breakfast and at one point is outraged that his new wig is teeming with nits! An historical and very human read. Makes me realise that after 450 years we are all no different at all........
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Format: Paperback
This book is said to be "The Diary of Samuel Pepys" and true it is...however it is only part 2 of a 10 part diary but you wouldnt know that unless you bought it and saw that the book starts with the end of a sentence from the previous volume. very sad.
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Format: Hardcover
Reading Samuel Pepys diary is an extraordinary experience because it blends the intimate personal details of this very public man of the 17th century with some of the most dramatic moments in London history. Pepys moves back and forth in successive daily entries between recording his marital ups and downs , his personal struggles with temptations of the flesh and career successes and the tumultuous events that he witnessed first hand. His descriptions of the Plague of 1665 and the Great London fire of 1666 are unequaled. As an influential minister in the Royal Navy he had access to and was acquainted with much of the aristocracy in the England of his day and had direct knowledge and access to King Charles II during the restoration years. This edition of his diary is abridged and contains the years 1660 thru 1669. From the coronation and return to the monarchy through the Dutch-English war Pepys' perpective is enlightening and entertaining. I can't think of another book that I've read that places the reader in such intimate contact with a time and place so far removed. By the time you are finished with this you will have learned much and become acquainted with a pretty interesting and engaging character in Mr. Pepys. Highly recommended to anyone interested in this period and would enjoy an insiders view of restoration London.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this diary because I am teaching history to undergraduates. When it arrived I was surprised that the edition had no publisher, no editor, did not contain the complete diary and had no explanation of why edits were made. The book is surprisingly large and formatted unprofessionally. I returned it to Amazon. I am certain there are better editions out there, and I would be embarrassed to have this one on my shelf.
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