‘The Latham-Matthews transcription of Pepys’ Diary is one of the glories of contemporary English publishing.’
‘Here, in one of the finest feats in all the long history of scholarship, is Pepys’ Diary, once and for all. Exegi monumentum aere perennius.’
‘It isn’t often that one encounters a publication – especially of this magnitude – which achieves complete perfection, but there is no doubt that this does.’
Sir Arthur Bryant
From the Back Cover
Samuel Pepys was born in London in 1633, the son of a tailor. He was educated at St Paul's School, London, and magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1655 he married, and the following year he entered the household of his cousin Admiral Edward Montagu. In 1660 he begun writing his Diary. With his unquenchable joy in life and his endless curiosity, Pepys gave a vivid first-hand account of the 1660's – the colourful years of the Restoration, the Plague and the Great Fire of London – interwoven with a richly diverting record of his eventful private and domestic life. After just ten years, in May 1669, he closed his Diary, never realizing the historical and literary importance it would attain.
Samuel Pepys's diary was first published in abbreviated form in 1825, over a century after his death in 1703. A succession of new versions brought out in the Victorian era made Pepys one of the best known figures of English history. However, not until the publication of the Latham and Matthews edition was the diary presented in its complete form, with a newly transcribed text and the benefit of a systematic commentary. The text of the Diary is in nine volumes, followed by a Companion and an index. The edition has just become established as the definitive version, hailed by'The Times' as 'one of the glories of contemporary English publishing' and by C.P. Snow as 'a triumph of modern scholarship.'
"A memorial fit for our greatest diarist"
About the Author
Robert Latham, cbe, ma, fba was born in Audley, Staffordshire. Educated at Cambridge, he was Reader in History in the University of London at Royal Holloway College from 1947 to 1968 when he went to the University of Toronto as Professor of History. From 1970 he was a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, where, as Pepys Librarian until 1982, he had charge of the remarkable collection of books, prints and manuscripts which Pepys left to his old College. He devoted the greater part of his life to the study of the Diary, and died in January 1995.