Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 528 pages
For a decade, beginning in 1660, an ambitious young London civil servant kept an astonishingly candid account of his life during one of the most defining periods in British history. In Samuel Pepys, Claire Tomalin offers us a fully realized and richly nuanced portrait of this man, whose inadvertent masterpiece would establish him as the greatest diarist in the English language.

Against the backdrop of plague, civil war, and regicide, with John Milton composing diplomatic correspondence for Oliver Cromwell, Christopher Wren drawing up plans to rebuild London, and Isaac Newton advancing the empirical study of the world around us, Tomalin weaves a breathtaking account of a figure who has passed on to us much of what we know about seventeenth-century London. We witness Pepys’s early life and education, see him advising King Charles II before running to watch the great fire consume London, learn about the great events of the day as well as the most intimate personal details that Pepys encrypted in the Diary, follow him through his later years as a powerful naval administrator, and come to appreciate how Pepys’s singular literary enterprise would in many ways prefigure our modern selves. With exquisite insight and compassion, Samuel Pepys captures the uniquely fascinating figure whose legacy lives on more than three hundred years after his death.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cecrow - LibraryThing

Samuel Pepys presents a double-edged sword to his biographers: a wonderful, personal source document to work from that provides a treasure of insights not just into his daily activities but also into ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lukerik - LibraryThing

I read the diary recently and was left wondering what happened to everybody, and how Pepys felt when his wife died, when he was sacked, when he was imprisoned. This book gives you the information you ... Read full review

Contents

PA RT O N E 1 63_3166o
1
_3 Carnfirizflge and Cerring 36
36
PART TWC 16601669
93
Dear1 and Plague
160
War
176
PART THREE 16691703
292
Notes
379
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About the author (2007)

Claire Tomalin is the author of several acclaimed biographies: The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft; Shelley and His World; Katharine Mansfield: A Secret Life; The Invisible Woman: The Story of Ellen Ternan and Charles Dickens; Mrs. Jordan’s Profession; and Jane Austen. Educated at Cambridge University, she served as literary editor of the New Statesman and The Sunday Times. She lives in London with her husband, the playwright and novelist Michael Frayn.

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