©2003 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.; (P)2003 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.
interested in history, science, and pulp fiction
What a marvelous treasure. I have seen Pepys quoted in history books over the years, and finally decided to read the original. I couldn't be more pleased. Pepys (pronounced, delightfully, "peeps"), a noteworthy figure in English history for a variety of accomplishments, had an eye for detail that brings the era alive. The plague, the war with the Dutch, the nature of domestic and professional life, the fire of 1666 - his descriptions are riveting, and without equal as primary historical material.
The beauty of Pepys' diary is that he was writing for his own purposes, so it is utterly unedited for public consumption. He was a neurotic skirt chaser, but very compassionate towards his wife. The account of his wife and father burying the gold in the back garden is hilarious. Bravo to the narrator for bringing a vivid personality to this thoroughly enjoyable book.
Beautifully read - listened to it at a normal speed, no way to rev this one up! The diary entries are complete but only a selection of entries is presented. Afterwards googled Pepys and found several sites dedicated to him.
"And so to bed."
I was surprised how entertaining these entries were; not only that I felt I learnt a lot about the everyday lives of Pepys, his friends and his work but also the politcal situation of his times. Major events like the plague and the Great Fire are of course well known, but other events like the war with the Dutch were made major concerns too because of Pepys' position in the naval office. The diaries were only written for ten years. but these were important and uncertain times beginning with the end of the Commonwealth and the return of the king, Charles II.
Pepys warts and all comes across as a warm, charming, caring and sometimes weak but honest human being with weakness which can only be forgiven because we are the intruders reading his very private and personal record of his life and times.
It is well-read and the excerpts are introduced by the narrator who fills in the gaps for us. Pepys' diaries have wit, excitement and, surprisingly, food. These extracts are definitely worth listening to as an introduction to the man and his times.
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