Tag Archives: Molly Harrison

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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pepys: tangled up in hues

By now the plague was raging in London. It was an endemic disease appearing in London most summers, with varying severity. The seriousness of this particular outbreak was not appreciated until it had nearly reached its height, and even then, … 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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