Tag Archives: Samuel Pepys

politics and satire: pol porn

…Political pornography is far rarer in human history than political smut, and much more dangerous for the society in which it burgeons. Indeed, Louis XIV’s great rival, England, was already suffering from a mild outburst- one that took more than … Continue reading

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pepys diary: leagues of crafty and unruly gentlemen

There were rumors that he might succeed William Coventry as James’s secretary, and it is strange that he did not. Much lesser men, like Sir Joseph Williamson, took the short step from the civil service into government. But Pepys had … Continue reading

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pepys: finally, a man of fame…

Samuel Pepys’s diary of the 1660’s, Restoration England at its baddest and bawdiest. Human nature has not changed that much… Not until then did any member of the Navy Board think of going downriver. On Wednesday, June 12, 1666, the … Continue reading

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fire of london: desolation row

On Sunday, September 2, 1666, fire burst out in a riverside area of London. The season was dry, the city wooden, and a perverse east wind kept fanning the flames. Ever curious, Samuel Pepys climbed a turret to get a … Continue reading

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A career man’s crisis

“Chance without merit,” said Samuel Pepys, had won him his post as the navy’s Clerk of the Acts. Mischance without personal demerit almost cost him all on June 12,1667, when a Dutch squadron sailed boldly up the Thames, burned part … Continue reading

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fire! and “a very fearful stink”

Samuel Pepys diary. There is nothing quite like his account of Restoration England in all its gaudy excess of sex, scandal, fire and plague… The final blow to English morale was the Great Fire of London, which razed most of … Continue reading

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Disasters of the day: plague and fire

The Great Plague spread slowly over London during the late spring of 1665. It was not until June 7 that Samuel Pepys first saw the dread quarantine sign: ‚ÄúThis day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see … Continue reading

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The king and his ladies

Samuel Pepys diaries gave us a view of the English Restoration unlike any other. It was the work of a slightly demented genius who described sex, Sundays, scandals, fires, plagues, office politics and marital discords in a manner that spared … Continue reading

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the restoration in shorthand

“Diligence,” Pepys reflected one morning while lying in bed, was the key to his success: “living as I do among so many lazy people… the diligent man becomes necessary … they cannot do anything without him.” The “lazy” were the … Continue reading

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pepys: mad hatters and shitten fools

There was nothing quite like Samuel Pepys account of Restoration England. The charm of the diary lies not in the information it contains, but in its total unself-consciousness and its absolute frankness. In Pepys diary we had sex, scandals, fires, … Continue reading

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