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1 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self

by

Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self Cover

 

Awards

Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year Award

Staff Pick

Samuel Pepys's diary gave readers a startlingly frank examination of a decade in his life. Claire Tomalin's fascinating biography chronicles Pepys's full life, and gives readers an understanding of his contemporaries, as well as insight into the history and events unfolding around him. Tomalin, with a profound knowledge of her subject, vividly captures this fascinating figure in an entertaining and erudite read.
Recommended by Michal D., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"A sparkling, wonderfully readable biography....Plenty of tidbits from [Pepys's] diaries make their way into this thorough, richly detailed portrait....A fine work of literary and cultural history." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Tomalin writes brilliant chapters on all aspects of Pepys's life....Tomalin clearly admires her subject, whose energy she constantly praises. For those who have already enjoyed the diary, Tomalin's learned and entertaining work admirably fills in the gaps." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[Tomalin's] writing is as supple and lively as Pepys's own, and by fleshing out the backdrop to his Diary writings, she has created the perfect bookend to his own rollicking self-portrait." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"[R]eaders of Tomalin's book must not deny themselves the experience of going back to Pepys's diary almost immediately....The effects of the new book on the old are transformative." Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker

Review:

"[Tomalin] expands upon the characters and events...that affected Pepys' life and livelihood...pungently as well as vibrantly..." Ray Olsen, Booklist

Review:

"[T]he decline in Pepys's reputation only makes Claire Tomalin's engaging new biography all the more remarkable: she not only brings him back to violent life, but makes a powerful case that he's more central...than we ever imagined." Charles McGrath, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A magisterial book [written] with an elegance and concision that few historians could match....You have to love Samuel Pepys. He is us." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Exceptional....Nuanced, moving....A book teeming, like the diary, with clarity, momentum and great pleasure." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Fine and engrossing....Tomalin possesses a particularly graceful and pleasing diction, a proper sense of measure, and a piquant willingness to express her own views." The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Excellent....Remarkable and sympathetic....One is not likely to think of Pepys in the same way again." St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Synopsis:

Biography of diarist who lived through some of the most tumultuous events of British history.

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Pepys Family Tree
Map 1 The London Dwellings of Samuel Pepys
Map 2 Huntingdon, Hinchingbrooke and Brampton
List of Principal Figures
Prologue
Pt. 1 1633-1660
1 The Elected Son 3
2 A Schoolboy's War: Huntingdon and St. Paul's 19
3 Cambridge and Clerking 38
4 Love and Pain 51
5 A House in Axe Yard 67
6 A Diary 80
Pt. 2 1660-1669
7 Changing Sides 95
8 Families 119
9 Work 133
10 Jealousy 149
11 Death and Plague 162
12 War 179
13 Marriage 195
14 The King 216
15 The Fire 227
16 Three Janes 236
17 The Secret Scientist 252
18 Speeches and Stories 259
19 Surprise and Disorder 269
Pt. 3 1669-1703
20 After the Diary 279
21 Public and Private Life 298
22 Plots 311
23 Travels for the Stuarts 327
24 Whirligigs 339
25 The Jacobite 352
26 A Journey to be Made 361
Epilogue 378
Notes 387
Bibliography 461
Text and Illustration Permissions 470
Index 473

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375725531
Author:
Tomalin, Claire
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Author:
Tomalin, Claire
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Historical - British
Subject:
Authors, English
Subject:
English diaries
Subject:
Statesmen
Subject:
Cabinet officers
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Series Volume:
108-261
Publication Date:
November 11, 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
24 PP. BandW ILLUSTRATIONS; MAP; GENEALO
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
8.06x5.22x1.18 in. 1.07 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » Tudor to Stuart Period
History and Social Science » World History » England » Historical Biographies

Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 528 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375725531 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Samuel Pepys's diary gave readers a startlingly frank examination of a decade in his life. Claire Tomalin's fascinating biography chronicles Pepys's full life, and gives readers an understanding of his contemporaries, as well as insight into the history and events unfolding around him. Tomalin, with a profound knowledge of her subject, vividly captures this fascinating figure in an entertaining and erudite read.

"Review" by , "A sparkling, wonderfully readable biography....Plenty of tidbits from [Pepys's] diaries make their way into this thorough, richly detailed portrait....A fine work of literary and cultural history."
"Review" by , "Tomalin writes brilliant chapters on all aspects of Pepys's life....Tomalin clearly admires her subject, whose energy she constantly praises. For those who have already enjoyed the diary, Tomalin's learned and entertaining work admirably fills in the gaps."
"Review" by , "[Tomalin's] writing is as supple and lively as Pepys's own, and by fleshing out the backdrop to his Diary writings, she has created the perfect bookend to his own rollicking self-portrait."
"Review" by , "[R]eaders of Tomalin's book must not deny themselves the experience of going back to Pepys's diary almost immediately....The effects of the new book on the old are transformative."
"Review" by , "[Tomalin] expands upon the characters and events...that affected Pepys' life and livelihood...pungently as well as vibrantly..."
"Review" by , "[T]he decline in Pepys's reputation only makes Claire Tomalin's engaging new biography all the more remarkable: she not only brings him back to violent life, but makes a powerful case that he's more central...than we ever imagined."
"Review" by , "A magisterial book [written] with an elegance and concision that few historians could match....You have to love Samuel Pepys. He is us."
"Review" by , "Exceptional....Nuanced, moving....A book teeming, like the diary, with clarity, momentum and great pleasure."
"Review" by , "Fine and engrossing....Tomalin possesses a particularly graceful and pleasing diction, a proper sense of measure, and a piquant willingness to express her own views."
"Review" by , "Excellent....Remarkable and sympathetic....One is not likely to think of Pepys in the same way again."
"Synopsis" by , Biography of diarist who lived through some of the most tumultuous events of British history.
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