The Diary of Samuel Pepys: Volume I: 1660 - 1663

  • by Samuel Pepys
  • Narrated by Leighton Pugh, David Timson
  • 42 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Diary of Samuel Pepys is one of the most entertaining documents in English history. Written between 1660 and 1669, as Pepys was establishing himself as a key administrator in the naval office, it is an intimate portrait of life in 17th-century England covering his professional and personal activities, including, famously, his love of music, theatre, food, wine and his peccadilloes. This Naxos AudioBooks production is the world premiere recording of the diary in its entirety; the result of many years of scholarship by Robert Latham (Magdalene College, Cambridge) and William Matthews (University of California). It has been divided into three volumes. Volume I covers the opening years of the Restoration and introduces us to many of the key characters - family, government and royalty. Pepys was there when Charles II returned to England, and he lived through those opening years of the Stuart monarchy, with its revenge on the regicides. He also recorded the reopening of theaters, and how he relaxed from the Puritan way of life.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Life in a Perilous Time

I truly did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I bought it because it is something I've heard about since school and expected it to be very dry. Anything but.

It is one thing to read history and know that during the late 1600s that people had to deal with things like small pox, minor infections which could result in death and just saying the wrong word could result in jail, or execution. And the wrong word especially in Pepys time and place changed from month to month. He lived and worked while Cromwell's puritan regime folded with his death, and was literally an eye witness to Charles II coming to England.

But oddly it is the everyday things that are so interesting. Of course he records things from his own personal view. We hear about his wife burning her hand, "the girl" refusing to kill birds for dinner. She just will not kill anything, his wife had to do it. Wow, I thought in the time before refrigeration that people did what they had to do. I couldn't kill anything either, so it is amazing to look back across the centuries and see a kindred spirit, however small and unnamed the spirit is.

The narrators are clear, pleasant, and cheerful. It is easy to feel that Samuel himself is just chatting aloud. I am glad to get a small "peep" into such a distant world.

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- Barbara

Riveting

Excellently performed by Leighton Pugh. Incredibly interesting to step into 1660s England. It's amazing how much has stayed the same.
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- David C.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-24-2014
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks