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The Diary of Samuel Pepys (Modern Library) Paperback – Abridged, 25 Sep 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library Inc; abridged edition edition (25 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812970713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812970715
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"One of our greatest historical records . . . a major work of English literature." --Paul Johnson

From the Inside Flap

Richard Le Gallienne's elegant abridgment of the "Diary captures the essential writings of Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), a remarkable man who witnessed the coronation of Charles II, the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666. Originally scribbled in a cryptic shorthand, Pepys's quotidian journal of life in Restoration London provides an astonishingly frank and diverting account of political intrigues; naval, church, and cultural affairs; and the sexual escapades and domestic strife of a man with a voracious, childlike appetite for living. "As a human document the "Diary is literally unique," notes Le Gallienne. "It will have a still greater value for its historical importance."

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have always wanted to read Pepys diary specifically the entries about the plague years and the great fire of London. For these two topics alone this was worth reading. You get a real sense of the fear and emotion of the time. I loved it when Pepys described burying his wine, money and parmesan cheese in the ground to protect it from the fire.

On the down side it's still a diary and not everything is interesting so some bits can be dull from time to time. Overall this is an ideal book for anyone interested in this period and looking at the day to day life in 17th century England.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My knowledge of history would not get me 1% of a GCSE, so I may not be the best suited to comment, but I find this book absolutely fantastic. Much has changed since his day (e.g. Science and Medicine) but one thing hasn't (human nature).
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By John Meanwood TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the version of the Complete Diaries of Samuel Pepys that does not have the annoying notes breaking up the narration. If you want the notes, get this version. Check out the 'Look Inside' options on both versions to see which you prefer.

Unfortunately in this version there are no notes at all, so you will probably also need to buy this in paperback, as it is not available on Kindle.
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By J. Chippindale TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
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.
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