The Shorter Pepys

Samuel Pepys, Author, Robert Latham, Editor, Samuel Pepys, Photographer University of California Press $55 (1152p) ISBN 978-0-520-03426-6
The complete, 11-volume edition of Samuel Pepys's diaries, of which Latham was co-editor, was a monument of scholarship justly praised. Here for the delectation of the general reader is the most evocative and informative of the English diarists in one compact volume (about one-third of the original). The selections, preceded by a useful introduction, are judiciously representative of Pepys's concern to record both ""the state of the nation'' and his private affairs. He was not only Charles II's chief naval administrator, but a keen amateur of learning and an indefatigable enthusiast of politics, music, theater, womenlife. He sets down his daily experience with a journalist's eye for detail, something of a novelist's sensitivity and, since he is writing for himself, a delightful frankness. The classic accounts of the Restoration, the Dutch War, the Plague and the Fire are here; but whether Pepys is describing national events, frantically searching at midnight for his buried gold or trying to placate his wife (``my wife . . . did find me imbracing the girl con my hand sub su coats''), he never fails to entertain. Illustrations. BOMC bonus selection; Readers Subscription main selection. October
Reviewed on: 08/01/1985
Release date: 08/01/1985
Paperback - 978-0-14-009418-3
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