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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 19 August 2001
As the most famous "alive at the time" eye witness commentator of 17th Century life and times Pepys writes in a style which is easily understood by the modern reader whilst still retaining all the stilt and nuance of the Stuart times. 1664 was not a famous year; The Great Fire of London and the Plague were still to come - but it was an important year for Samuel. He records his earnings breaching the important £1000 barrier something he aspired to and signified to him that he had really "arrived" in 17C London. If you want scandal and gossip this book has got it (as in the "towsing" of 'Mrs' Lane!), if you want tragedy and human drama then read about his Brother dying and the problems it causes not least because of the secret love child he left behind.
Samuel Pepys never fails to demonstrate that human emotions have changed little in over three hundred years and that even a giant amongst men such as himself still has qualities that betray his humanity in an entertaining and absorbing way.
This is book 5 in a series of 10 utterly consuming books on the times just after England's Civil War. Samuel Pepys knew (and was known to) King Charles II by sight and experienced if not influenced many important events of the time.
Anyone who really wants to know this era of English history should read his works.
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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.
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on 30 September 2014
I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Hatty Naylor's skilful adaptation of Pepys' diaries ever since I first heard it on Radio 4 extra.

The dialogue between the actors comes across very naturally, and it is very easy to identify with Samuel, his lovely wife, Elizabeth and their household, family and friends. Pepys seems to have popped up everywhere as a bystander to a great many historical events and from a historical perspective, that's very interesting. However, the minutiae of the daily lives of Samuel, Elizabeth, his 'boy Will' and their 'wench' Jane is extremely entertaining, and shows that times may have changed, but human nature is still more or less the same.

Wonderful to listen to whilst baking in the kitchen, or on a long car journey. An excellent buy.
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on 5 December 2012
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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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.
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on 29 September 2014
Buy this it is very informative about our history and very interesting too. A fine bunch of actors especially Krtis Marshall as Pepys and Katherine Jakeways as his wife. I fully recommend this 11 CD (running time 12 hours 15 minutes) .
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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
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This audio book originally produced for BBC Radio is just 100 per cent fantastic. I cannot fault it at all. It has to be possibly the best way to learn about, or experiencing the Diary of Pepeys.
The actual Diary is of course of immense historical importance. It gives us a detailed eye witness account of life in 17th Century London. It gives us historical detail of events of the time. It also gives us a very ordinary and human account of Samuel’s life during the 1660s. We get an account not only of historic and political social issues, and the work that Samuel was doing, but also an account of a very personal home life with his wife and servants.
The dramatisation is excellent with actors, music and sound effects that help us to really connect with the times.
The Diary, and therefore the story covers the 1660s and covers the historic events of the Restoration, The second Dutch War, the Plague and the great fire of London. The account is often very funny as well. Pepys kept his Diary from the beginning of 1660 until May 1669 when he has to stop because of failing eye sight. Throughout these entries we get to know his home life and his wife Elizabeth. In this audio version of the book the end of 1669 is taken up with Elizabeth’s attempts on keeping a Diary and some brief extracts from Samuel’s personal letters that helps to finish off the decade and give us a conclusion.
The whole project is just brilliant and it is easily a book to read again and again. This version of the Diary is also I believe an excellent educational tool on the subject because of its engaging nature.
Highly recommended all round. There are eleven discs, and on average each disc concentrates on one year.
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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.
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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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