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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Branagh Brings Pepys to Life, 25 Oct. 1998
By A Customer
Just as Pepys brings Restoration London to life in his famous diary, Branagh brings Pepys to life in this series of highly interesting and entertaining recordings. Part One covers the years 1660 to 1663 (two ninety-minute tapes) in which Pepys establishes himself in his career and provides a fascinating description of the coronation of Charles II. Part Two (1664 to 1666) provides Pepys's vivid eyewitness accounts of the Plague and the Great Fire. The final tapes (1667 to 1669) focus in large part on Pepys' domestic life and his position as a high official in the navy. I've listened to these tapes regularly since they were first released in 1994 and continue to learn new things about this remarkable period of British history and the remarkable individual who described it so well. I just wish Hodder Headline would offer these recordings on compact disc before my tapes wear out.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way Above Five Stars, 30 Nov. 2002
Bruce Kendall "BEK" (Southern Pines, NC) - See all my reviews
Anyone wishing to know what it was like to live in Restoration London should go to the primary source, Samuel Pepys (pronounced "Peeps"). He is to 17th century England what Boswell was in the next century, a marvelously candid interpreter of customs, manners and mores in a less-than-gilded age. Pepys is perhaps the most conversational and engaging diarist that has ever written. He reveals himself intimately, warts and all, recording personal, city, court and national history in a journal that was never meant to be seen by the public at-large. Rousseau, in his Confessions, professed to tell the truth about himself. Pepys actually does. Added to this is the fact that the period dealt with is one of the most fascinating in English history, full of court intrigues, pivotal naval battles, the Great Fire, plague, etc., one comes away with an appreciation for the era as well as the man.
Branaugh is the perfect vehicle for introducing listeners to this idiosyncratic author. No living actor has as great a command of spoken English. He is the successor to Gielgud, Olivier, Guiness, Richardson, Redgrave, etc. This is an abridged version, but still runs to well over six hours, and not a minute feels as if it's wasted. Pepys, as interpreted by Branaugh, is excellent company, whether you are on a long road-trip in your car or sitting beside the fire on a winter night.
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Pepys' Diary Vol 1: 1660-1663 v. 1
Pepys' Diary Vol 1: 1660-1663 v. 1 by Samuel Pepys (Audio CD - 11 Oct. 2004)
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