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The Diary of Samuel Pepys

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The Celebrated work here presented to the public under peculiar advantages may require a few introductory remarks. By the publication, during the ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Overall customer rating: 5.000
Dickensfan

English customs

by Dickensfan on Nov 16, 2007

I was drawn to the diaries of Samuel Pepys for the rich sense of British culture and close knowledge of government and civil affairs. I am investigating the time period to fill in my grasp of the interests and activities. The flow of British culture is staid and even now the problems and quirks of the people are the same from the 17 hundreds to the twenty-first century. Their stubborness, their entrenched heirical society, their pompous formality continues. It is their weakness, their strenth and their folly. It is amusing also how the populace takes all these things in stride. This is a daily diary of important government affairs but it is easy reading and varied in its interests. Impressive in this is the information on the plague raging on in London in 1665 and the great fire that consumed it in 1666. Yet living through it, he notes in dispassionate yet sorrowful tones the deaths of one thousand this week, seventeen hundred the next. He is thankfully living away from the center of it. This diary is in multiple volumes, at least twelve and is condensed in the most recent printings. I have the complete work in two volumes. Some of the diary will be inconsequential to some, so the abreviated version would be sufficient. I wanted to see the flow. The full set in my two volumes is 2400 pages. I can pick it up to read at any point year by year. Knowing the people who suround him is helpful but usually an understanding develops in the reading. Footnotes tell more. The man is no saint, a womanizer and unrestrained in his drinking. It seems requisite to his duties. The book is valuable to me and should interest anyone who wants to grasp British culture and government. But it is much more and puts a human face on the disorder. Read a portion in any version to see if you want to continue. I have to rate the book highly but qualify that many would not care to follow it all. It is a prefference and not an indictment of the work. It is unique in its value especially for anyone researching the period. If the subject interests you at all, I recomend it to you.

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