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.
The son of a London tailor, Samuel Pepys (1633–1709) rose to political and social prominence in the latter half of the 17th century. A member of Parliament and the trusted confidant of Charles II, Pepys' (pronounced "peeps") unabashed curiosity in all things and a commitment to recording his innermost thoughts allow readers to experience firsthand accounts of the Great Fire of London, the horrors of the Plague, as well as such details as the exhumation and display of the head of Oliver Cromwell at Westminster Hall, along with suggestive accounts of the author's sexual dalliances. One of the most important historical records of Restoration England, the anthology is highly recommended for all collections.
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