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Pleasing Mr. Pepys by [Swift, Deborah]
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Pleasing Mr. Pepys Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Length: 407 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Pepys and his world spring to vibrant life in an adventure brimming with espionage, danger, romance and flashes of dark humour...Gripping, revealing and stunningly imagined, Pleasing Mr Pepys is guaranteed to please...' Lancashire Evening Post

'The action never flags...Seventeenth century London is vividly evoked by descriptions of the crowded, stinking streets still bearing traces of the Great Fire....the novel provides us with a new view of the Pepys's household through the eyes of a young woman who steps into the limelight from the shadows of history. Historia Magazine 

'Swift brought Deborah Willet, the Pepyses, and the London of the 1660s to life in an exciting and sometimes touching way...I didn't want to put it down, and found myself thinking about the story when I went about my day' Andrea Zuvich, historian.

'The first chapter will suck you right in immediately; there is drama and intensity...before you even know who these characters are! I was hooked!' The Maiden's Court Blog

Swift is a consummate historical novelist, basing her books on immaculate research and then filling the gaps between real events and real people with eloquent storytelling, atmospheric scene setting and imaginative plot lines. The Visitor

From the Author

Samuel Pepys (pronounced 'Peeps') began his diary in 1660 and continued to write it for ten years. His famous diary is the best resource we have on London in the 17th century. It provides us with a fly-on-the-wall account of daily life in the period just following the Restoration of King Charles II, and includes passages on The Plague and The Great Fire.

Pepys's view of the women in his life was what you would expect - they were very much supporting characters in his story. Like all diarists, he is essentially egotistical in his presentation of events. But in Pleasing Mr.Pepys, I wanted to give the women centre stage, and Pepys provides plenty of inspiration and documentation for me to do so. One of the notorious highlights in the diary is Pepys's passion for his maid, Deb Willet, and I wondered how she felt about the situation, and so began to unpick Pepys's Diary for clues.

The inspiration for the novel came from one description. When talking of Deb, the diary says that Pepys felt 'she might be a little too good for my family.' Further research revealed she was very well-educated, having been schooled at a girls' school in Bow--an education that was unusual for a girl of that era. Perhaps she might not be the archetypal downtrodden maid and have an agenda ofher own? So the idea for a novel about Deb Willet was born.

Samuel Pepys's wife, Elisabeth, had little education so I could well imagine tensions arising between the two women. At the time too, England was at war with the Dutch, so I wondered if the intelligent Deb could somehow be involved in espionage for the enemy. After all, she was in an ideal position to do it. I had heard of Aphra Behn, the actress and playwright, who played a similar role in the same period. Samuel Pepys had access to vital information about the English Fleet, and in his diary, he had been frank about the antics of the libertine King Charles II and his court.

Research introduced me to a fascinating Restoration world of spies and rebels,whores and priests, and I tried to populate the spaces between the lines of Pepys's Diary with this plausible but entertaining history. But at the heart of the novel is the innocent maid, who is not quite as innocent as she seems.
(This was originally an article on the blog, 'Let Them Read Books'.)

Product details

  • File Size: 1493 KB
  • Print Length: 407 pages
  • Publisher: Accent Press (September 28, 2017)
  • Publication Date: September 28, 2017
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B072VVFXKC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,754 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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