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Pepys's London: Everyday Life in London 1650-1703 [Hardcover]

Stephen Porter
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 16.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Aug 2011
Everyday life in the teeming metropolis during Pepys's time in the city (c.1650-1703). Samuel Pepys's London was a turbulent, boisterous city, enduring the strains caused by foreign wars, the Great Plague and the Great Fire, yet growing and prospering. The Restoration in 1660 brought the reopening of the theatres, with women appearing on the stage for the first time, and the period saw the development of English opera and the first public concerts. Pepys lived through a time of change in a city of contrasts, which maintained a sophisticated cultural scene, yet was a focus for political turmoil that spilled over into violence. Against this changing and sometimes troubled background Londoners strived to make a living and to enjoy the benefits of their efforts, as consumers of an increasing range of food and drink, luxuries and entertainments. The London of Wren, Dryden and Purcell was also the city of Nell Gwyn, an orange seller in the theatre who became an actress and the king's mistress; of 'Colonel' Thomas Blood, who attempted to steal the crown jewels from the Tower and yet escaped punishment; and of Titus Oates, whose invention of a Popish Plot provoked a major political crisis. London was the country's political, economic, social and intellectual capital, described by a visitor from Tuscany as 'the metropolis of the whole island'.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing; 1st Edition edition (1 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848688695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848688698
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'A fast-paced narrative with a real sense of history unfolding' GILLIAN TINDALL --Gillian Tindall

About the Author

Stephen Porter, until his recent retirement, worked for over seventeen years for the Survey of London, a century-old project devoted to the history of London's built environment. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, has held research posts at the University of Oxford and lectured on London's history at the Museum of London. His other books include SHAKESPEARE'S LONDON: EVERYDAY LIFE IN LONDON 1580-1616 ('A vivid account' THES, 'A lucid and cogent narrative of everyday life in Shakespeare's place of work' SHAKESPEARE BIRTHPLACE TRUST, 'A meticulous recreation of a vibrant world - echoes with the living voices of Londoners' GILLIAN TINDALL); THE LONDON CHARTERHOUSE ('A model history' GILLIAN TINDALL, author of THE HOUSE BY THE THAMES & THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED THERE); THE GREAT PLAGUE ('An excellent introduction for the general reader' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH), THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON and THE PLAGUES OF LONDON ('Breathes new life into the story of the plague in London' STEPHEN INWOOD, author of A HISTORY OF LONDON. After 25 years living in the capital he now lives in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good "next read" when you finish Pepys' Diary 18 Feb 2013
By P2B
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although this isn't the most scintillating read ever, it is well-researched and well-written - the number of sources alone gives comfort that the author is saving you from reading a whole host of source material in order to give you the best bits!

As with many historical references, it does have a tendency to "go on a bit" but all-in-all it's a good, informative read with interesting insight into how people lived in Restoration England and how and why London developed as it did. For me there is a little too much "political history" involved, but that's probably symptomatic of the times, rather than the author being at all dull. In the second half of the 17th Century, everything was political I suppose.

It took me nearly 2 years to read "the Diary" (a few pages a night at bed-time) and I sort of miss my nightly chat with the great man, so this certainly fills a void before I tackle "The Plots Against Pepys" in a few weeks' time ...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pepys's London 2 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A wonderful book but it is better to read it in paperback because the book has a wealth of wonderful illustratins which are easier to access in a book than in electronic form.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 20 Jan 2014
By amjay
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought as a gift for an elderly relative who is interested in this period, and who asked me to find her a book about the 1700's. She hardly put it down from start to finish, and recommended it to her friends. She lives abroad and says that the places mentioned in the book remind her of a visit to London many years ago.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A book that I will almost certainly read again.Brought London to life. Mr .Pepys and all around him
came to life,
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