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The Diary of Samuel Pepys [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Samuel Pepys
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 20 2008 0554549778 978-0554549774 large type edition
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

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"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 --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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“One of our greatest historical records . . . a major work of English literature.” —Paul Johnson --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Blessed be God, at the end of the last year I was in very good health, without any sense of my old pain, but upon taking of cold. Read the first page
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Pepys' secret diary, kept in cryptic shorthand to shield it from prying eyes, covers the years 1660 to 1669, starting with the return of Charles II from exile and ending when the writer's failing eyesight made writing difficult. He was 27 years old when he began this work, and quite impecunious. Through the patronage of his kin, Edward Montagu (later Earl of Sandwich) he rose from humble beginnings to a respected position (Clerk of the Acts in the navy office). Educated at Cambridge, he was ill prepared for the job: while he read Latin and French, he did not know the multiplication tables and had to be taught basic mechanics. However, he seems to have applied himself to his work with diligence and persistence. During the naval war with Holland (1665-67) he was surveyor of victualling. In this capacity, he gained the confidence of the lord high admiral, the Duke of York (later King James II). After the war, he defended the navy office in Parliament against charges of mismanagement with a speech that seems to have been the high point of his career.

His eyewitness accounts of the Plague (1665) and the Great Fire (1666) in London are riveting. But it is the description of quotidian events that sheds light on how the people lived. Moving easily among different social classes, he recorded their moods and diversions. He attended public executions of regicides (complete with display of heads and organs to a cheering crowd), and noted when initial enthusiasm for the restoration of the monarchy gave way to disillusionment; when anger at the King's debauchery and neglect of state business bred nostalgia for the reign of Oliver Cromwell.

While critical of the King's and the Court's incessant "gambling and whoring", Pepys himself was no paragon of virtue.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty book, but poorly selected and edited Feb. 13 2002
By A Customer
While this Modern Library edition is attractively produced, all teachers and students who hope to use it in an academic setting should be aware that this is a severe abridgement--it represents about one-eighth of the original text from 1660-1669. As a result, there are large gaps in continuity, exacerbated by a lack of editorial notes to fill in those gaps. Also, the abridgement omits many of the sexiest passages and seems tailored to a Victorian sensibility. ...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as advertised Aug. 12 2009
By John Isles - Published on
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.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real inside look at history! Jan. 14 2007
By K. J. Kloian - Published on
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........
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not pleased Jan. 19 2009
By E. Dinwiddie - Published on
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peep Show Aug. 25 2010
By R. J. Marsella - Published on
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.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A few words about Pepys and the diary of the soul Feb. 7 2005
By Shalom Freedman - Published on
There are on the Amazon site two excellent, informative reviews of the Pepys' diaries. They say far more than my own contribution.

I have read in and out of the Pepys' diary more than once. I did this in part because I have read many times that they are the ' best diaries' ever written. Without contending with that I found that they were not for me the most interesting. This probably shows more about my own shortcomings than it does about the work of Pepys.

Pepys' work is filled with description of the life of the time. It is rich in perception of the great city of London in Restoration times. It is filled with personal anecdote, gossip including that relating to his prodigious sexual appetite and activity. It is a busy, businesslike work. And it tells more about a world outside than a world in.

In the diaries I most love there is the quest of the soul to deeply understand itself and its relation to other people, and God. I find that the flurry of activity in the life of Pepys does not lead to this kind of reflectiveness. And thus for me the 'diary' is not a highly significant work personally.
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