Samuel Pepys

Painting of Samuel Pepys by John Hayls

Image via Wikipedia

In our age of the world-and-her-husband busily self publishing their day-to-day thoughts, feelings and assorted shennanigans, would Samuel Pepys, the famous English Restoration diarist, have been a special voice blogging and tweeting, or just one in the ocean of wittering e-folks? Perhaps he would have been ‘liked’ more than most, or frequently on a blogroll. So I wonder who will stand out in a Pepysian way centuries from now, say in the year 2061…if anyone passes by and they have a pet nomination for that future stardom, I would be delighted to hear of them – I don’t have any regular blog reads right now. Maybe someone is writing one in code…

I haven’t read Pepys’s diary, only dabbled, but it’s fascinating stuff if you like the genuine flavour of another historical era, for the volatile politics of the time, on the spot personal accounts of events – most notably the plague, and the Great Fire of London in 1666, and the busy life of a curious, sociable well-to-do city civil servant. The official website is publishing the diary in blog form, a day at a time – I think they have a couple of years to go. There is an incredible amount of accessible background information, with loving notations from a group of dedicated participants.

(In memory of my dear mother – this book was for her a great favourite, even a desert island choice)
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2 Responses to Samuel Pepys

  1. ian russell says:

    Hi John. How remiss of me not to notice your blog here.

    In primary school our teacher used to read passages from Pepys’ diary. I have Antonia Fraser’s biography somewhere – he was quite a lad on the side, oysters and ale every lunchtime!

    Latter day diarists, I suppose – Tony Benn – though he doesn’t write but dictates them. I read his autobiography, Dare To Be A Daniel. Very good.

  2. johnnynorms2 says:

    I guess I’m keeping it quiet until I know whether it’s a blog that’s going somewhere. Still not sure.

    Tony Benn’s a good shout – he’s always impressed me as someone with consistent integrity and a sharp mind.

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