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The Diary of Samuel Pepys Hardcover – Large Print, Aug 20 2008

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Large Print, Aug 20 2008
CDN$ 40.68
CDN$ 34.18 CDN$ 42.09

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife; large type edition edition (Aug. 20 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0554549778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0554549774
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
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Product Description


‘Let Pepys’ Diary fall open at almost any page at random and he is joyously and compulsively quotable.’

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Richard Le Gallienne's elegant abridgment of the "Diary captures the essential writings of Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), a remarkable man who witnessed the coronation of Charles II, the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666. Originally scribbled in a cryptic shorthand, Pepys's quotidian journal of life in Restoration London provides an astonishingly frank and diverting account of political intrigues; naval, church, and cultural affairs; and the sexual escapades and domestic strife of a man with a voracious, childlike appetite for living. "As a human document the "Diary is literally unique," notes Le Gallienne. "It will have a still greater value for its historical importance." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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) HASH(0xa4a11a20) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4a42960) 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.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4a429b4) out of 5 stars Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. May 8 2011
By John the Reader - Published on
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.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4a42dec) out of 5 stars A real inside look at history! Jan. 14 2007
By K. J. Kloian - Published on
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........
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4a4a1c8) out of 5 stars not pleased Jan. 19 2009
By E. Dinwiddie - Published on
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4a4a2ac) out of 5 stars Peep Show Aug. 25 2010
By R. J. Marsella - Published on
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.