on 8 February 2013
Contrary to the previous review, I can assure you that this (the Latham/Matthews edition) is the unedited, uncensored, complete version. The reason for the confusion is that the Amazon 'Look Inside' feature on this product page is currently taking you to a different, earlier version (Wheatley) which did have passages and words censored which Wheatley thought could not possibly be printed. You can verify this by going to Look Inside and checking the front cover - you will see it is not the Latham/Matthews version.
If you want the complete, uncensored Pepys don't worry, this is the only edition to get - all nine volumes of it (11 with the index and commentary). Highly recommended.
on 8 July 2005
There could never be a better translation and publication of Pepys' wonderful diary. Lanthem and Matthews have put a lot of time into translating this series.
In the first book there is an introduction of several essays - a short biographical piece and information on the use the diary has for both literature and history, as well as a history of previous publications of the diary. These come in very useful and are also extremly interesting foreground reading before beginning the actual diary itself.
The editors explain how they have translated the diaries and the difficulties and have tried to present the diary how Pepys' would have wanted it. They have tried to make it authentic as possible - only changing bits they absolutely have to and the reader is always informed of such changes.
Pepys is an extremly important part of English history as he was witness to the restoration of the king after the death of Cromwell as well as the plague and the fire of London. His diary is wider then that - it is a record of humanity. It is unique in that it is very honest - a graphic detailed account on a man's life both public and private.
Such history from a first hand account and not regergitated by modern day historians is invaluable for anyone interested in the history during this period.
NB - - - I thought I'd copy my review from the CD version over to this download edition, as the content ought to be much the same. It's strange how on Amazon's website some reviews, such as my review for this audiobook do get appended to certain other related products, e.g. Pepys' diaries themselves, but not others, e.g. this download, of the very same audiobook... weird!) - - -
First of all this is a review of Maloney's abridged reading for Naxos Audiobooks. Many of the other reviews here appear to be about either the diaries themselves or other Pepys related products. 'Tis a pity when this happens, as it misrepresents and misinforms re the actual product customers are seeking to learn more about.
I have to admit I've not heard of Michael Maloney before. There's a Kenneth Branagh version out as well, which I haven't heard, and which Amazon have mistakenly referred to in their product description above (at the time of my submitting this review at any rate). He reads his part as Pepys very well, but with a decidedly affected plummily posh accent that I found simultaneously strange and charming. It leaves one, or me at least, wondering how such decisions about voice-casting are made. Maloney's characterisation is so affected that I feel it gives a slightly strange slant to the material at times.
But in the end what makes this so fascinating and compelling is the material: Pepys' candid confessional diary entries tell a marvellously vigorous and entertaining tale of a highly interesting life lived through very turbulent times. Pepys grew up during the English Civil War and Cromwell's 'protectorate', and this audiobook abridgement selects several key episodes, such as outbreaks of the plague, the great fire of London, the naval war with Holland - which his work for the navy meant he was intimately involved in - and, talking of intimate involvements, his relationships with numerous women, in particular his wife and Deb Willet, all of which give the abridgement some narrative shape and drama.
Mostly this is a solo reading, but it is augmented by some narrative comments, and a few brief interludes of period music, including a very short song which Pepys set himself, music being, amongst his other accomplishments and, alongside the company of women, his chief pleasure in life. Pepys' diaries are noted for their candour, including detailed and frequently hilarious relations of such things as bowel movements and ejaculations. Aside from a few coy references to hanky-panky (often in a strange jumble of tongues, inc. French and Latin), and a few bouts of flatulence, this side of Pepys rather 'earthier' nature is notably and sadly absent, which slightly emasculates this edition.
Despite these caveats, however, this is enormously enjoyable. I found myself very much compelled to listen to it - I/we always generally listen to audiobooks during car journeys - as near straight though as possible, albeit over numerous individual journeys. And indeed, I've already listened to several parts several times over. I'd like to hear Branagh's version (is that similarly abridged?). I generally dislike Branagh on-screen, but I'd be intrigued to see how his voicing of the part compares with Maloney's slightly effete rendering.
So this Naxos audiobook isn't necessarily the perfect Pepys for me, but it is nonetheless excellent, and great fun to listen to. As a result of listening to this (thanks mum!) I've started reading Tomalin's Pepys biog, The Unequalled Self. On CD (at the time of writing), the CD version is approx £17, whilst this download is just over £6. As long as the audio quality is good, that's great value for a 4-hour sojourn in the intriguing world of Sam Pepys.
on 3 June 2012
Of course this classic 1875 text is fabulous, but someone hasn't thought about readability on the kindle, and this kindle edition is made unreadable by the insertion of the original 1875 footnotes in with the text. Very, very bad. My advice - spend a quid and get a better edition.
on 25 January 2016
Samuel Pepys is a human, funny, moody man who has his ups and downs like the rest of us. His narrative during the plague records his concern about neighbors, and his real sorrow when people he knows succumb to it. He also records his experiences during the great fire of London in 1666 and his first mention of it strikes me as entirely human - he says that his maids wake him as they have heard of the fire and as it is not near his doorstep he simply goes back to bed as he's tired. He has arguments with his wife, and has cast a lusty eye upon the kings mistress for years! He also has, what I call 'mini affairs' where he kisses and fondles women quite regularly, (including his own maids) and seems to have no guilt about this whatsoever. Most mornings he 'drinks' his breakfast and at one point is outraged that his new wig is teeming with nits! An historical and very human read. Makes me realise that after 450 years we are all no different at all
This is another fascinating historical biography that reads more like a novel than a stuffy factual book. Virtually everyone knows the name of Samuel Pepys. Ah yes, he's the man who wrote the diary. This is of course true, but do they actually know anything about the man behind the name of Samuel Pepys. What for instance were his feelings on the politicians of the day. What were his own ambitions and aspirations.
Pepys was a naval administrator and friend and confidant of some of the most famous and powerful people in London . Sex, the plague, music, marital conflict, naval life, public executions and incarcerations in the Tower of London. These are just some of the colourful events in the life of a man famous for his writing of a diary.
The book contains a wealth of interesting material about the life of a man who's name goes before him. Everyone knows his name, but few know of the life of the man himself.
on 20 April 2014
Having read the free Kindle edition I find that I have read the sanitised 19th century edit, complete with annoying but sometimes helpful notes about the lineage of persons of quality mentioned in the text and identifying most of the plays that he goes to see. No rumpy-pumpy allowed in the Victorian version!
Now, is there a free Kindle edition of John Evelyn's diaries The Diary of John Evelyn? Every time I read his name I felt ever so curious as to whether Evelyn thought it worth mentioning that he had bumped into Pepys.
Glad to have read it, although beyond the Restoration, the Plague, the Great Fire and the war with the Dutch, and the handy markers in the development of Restoration fashion (of which he is a dedicated follower), the book has much that can only be described as dull and self-serving.