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The Diary of Samuel Pepys (Modern Library)by Samuel Pepys
Synopses & Reviews
The diary which Samuel Pepys kept from January 1660 to May 1669 ...is one of our greatest historical records and... a major work of English literature, writes the renowned historian Paul Johnson. A witness to the coronation of Charles II, the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666, Pepys chronicled the events of his day. Originally written in a cryptic shorthand, Pepys's diary provides an astonishingly frank and diverting account of political intrigues and naval, church, and cultural affairs, as well as a quotidian journal of daily life in London during the Restoration.
In 1825, when Pepys's memoirs were first published, Francis Jeffrey of The Edinburgh Review declared, "We can scarcely say that we wish it a page shorter... it is very entertaining thus to be transported into the very heart of a time so long gone by; and to be admitted into the domestic intimacy, as well as the public councils of a man of great activity and circulation in the reign of Charles II." Edited and abridged by literary critic and author Richard Le Gallienne, this edition features an Introduction by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Upon his death Samuel Pepys left six, calf-bound volumes filled with his daily diaries, pages recording the quotidian details of great but humble man living in a great time. The diaries are one of the most remarkable personal documents in the English language. Written with seriousness and humor, they are a unique blend of history and memoir, philosophy and broadsheet, gravitas and the light of wit. Samuel Pepys genius is in equal ranks with the British tradition that produced Chaucer, Shakespeare, Austen, and Woolf.
About the Author
Samuel Pepys was born in London in 1633 and died there in 1703. From 1661 to 1669, he kept a quotidian record of what he saw and heard and read, and whom he met. It is his only literary heritage.
Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947) was born in England. After serving as literary critic and contributor to the 1890s London quarterly Yellow Book, this prolific author of prose and verse took up residence in New York City. He was the father of Eva Le Gallienne.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), the Scottish fiction writer, essayist and poet, authored such popular classics as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
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