3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
all the best bits are missing, thanks alot victorians,
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This review is from: The Concise Pepys (Classics of World Literature) (Paperback)
Now, you're not going to read Samuel Pepys diary, unless you are keenly into your history. Thus, the fact that this is a very challenging read for your average layman is no suprise and is infact a welcome challenge,(both in a gramatical, and stamina sense)
His first hand accounts of dealing with the duke of york (future James II) and other exciting figures, plus the great plague and the fire are well known, and paint a fascinating human picture of these people and events that is lost in text books. What is also well known is how candidly Pepys recorded all his sexual exploits, drunken evenings and quarrells with his wife etc.
I knew that it would be hard work to plough through all the 'Naval regualtions' and 'venison pasties', but i told myself the amusing anecdotes of his ongoing sexual harrasment of his servants wife, and various flings with women would be my reward as i trudged through....
However to my distress, half way through i realised that this version of the diary is the very first abridged version that was released to the public, by the victorians, (his manuscripts had been resting in coded short hand for the best part of 200 years before anyone decided to de-crypt it). Victorian moral censorship, meant that all refernces to sex and the majority of references to domestic disputes were completely cut out, leaving nothing but inoffensive daily routine and the current affairs.
whilst still an absolute wealth of first hand history from the Restoration, i couldnt help feeling ripped off by the cutting of the famous sexual licence of the time. if i had the stamina, i might read a different version which included those bits, but i dont think i ever want to pick up that 700 page monster again.
glad i read it, never again.