As first hand history over a vast period of time from 1620 to 1705, John Evelyn's diary is a must for serious historians of this period. Evelyn was at the cutting edge of 17th century technology being a member of the Royal Society and working with such people as Christopher Wren after the Great Fire. A staunch royalist, and a deeply religious Anglican, Evelyn writes of King Charles and his mistresses, wars with France and Holland, the plague, smallpox, infant mortality and the text of every sermon he attends throughout his life. I intended to skip through the Diary but found myself wanting to read more about John Evelyn and his large family and one particular lady he appeared to like more than he should as a married man. Although Evelyn and Samuel Pepys were friends their diaries are not written from the same perspective. Pepys' Diary is a record of his own deeds and feelings and is much more readable. Evelyn's is a chronicle of the age in which he lived politically and socially.