Pepys show

I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while now, but better late than, etc. I must recommend the Pepys Diary blog project, now in its fourth year. I happened upon it by sheer chance, and have been hooked ever since. It’s a simple concept - each day the diary entry for the same day, annotated by readers in the comments. The project began on 1 January 2003 with the first diary entry for 1 January 1660. It’s a compelling read, and although I was vaguely familiar with the general outline of Pepys’s life, I never had got round to reading the three volumes of Bryant’s biography that my dad had (and which I guess are now in New Zealand with my brother), nor had I ever encountered the diary itself (which has been published several times over the last 200 years or so). The diary can be pretty explicit, but it’s been a brilliant window into Restoration London and also into the mind of the diarist. Have a look for example at his witnessing of an execution or when he fears his wife will need surgery (and his relief when she does not). There’s a catch-up summary for latecomers like me.

Great stuff. Go read.

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