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Samuel Pepys Collection Audio CD – Audiobook, Abridged
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Abridged
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The classic diaries of Samuel Pepys, brilliantly read by Kenneth Branagh and now available in one specially priced pack on CD
About the Author
Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) achieved fame as a naval administrator and a friend and colleague of the powerful and learned. For nearly ten years he kept a private diary in which he recorded life in Restoration London, commenting on politics, public events, and private matters.
Top customer reviews
What a colourful, inspiring and likable figure Pepys is. Here is a fellow who grabbed life with both hands. There are many self-help books out there, but I wonder if these diaries are not excellent self-help and life-guide books in themselves.
The language of the diary is very beautiful, it being written in the age of Milton. Here is an excerpt written after a trip to the theatre: February 27th, 1668 (Volume three of the Branagh recordings):
"...that which did please me beyond anything in the whole world was the wind-musique when the Angel comes down, which is so sweet that it ravished me; and indeed, in a word, did wrap up my soul so that it made me really sick, just as I have formerly been when in love with my wife; that neither then, nor all the evening going home and at home, I was able to think of anything, but remained all night transported, so as I could not believe that ever any music hath that real command over the soul of a man as this did upon me;...".
The importance of the diary to historians is well known. However, one thing I liked very much was how Pepys' character emerges from the diary; his way of thinking about and through his obsessions, such as vow making to reduce the number of visits to the theatre or the sometimes amusing steps he takes to guard his money and gold.
Also strongly recommended is Claire Tomalin's excellent biography "Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self"; the book and the audio discs read by Jill Balcon. The biography adds extra information before and after the diary years, including Pepys painful and frightening operation to remove a bladder stone (without anaesthetics).
Both the Tomalin biography and the Branagh recordings are a must for Pepys scholars.
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 excerpts that are taken from the earlier part of the diary contain 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.
Remind you how little has really changed in our human animal world in how we live and interact.
Incredible that he is speaking to himself and we are eavesdropping live!
Ideal for long car journeys for all ages from 10 and up.
Pepys gives a real insight into life in London during his life - his domestic life (sewage in his basement and quarrels with his wife) and esteemed career. Branagh's narration gives clarity and feeling to the written word.
It is a wonderful CD collection and I think anyone would enjoy it.