It was in this house that Pepys started to write his diary, at the age of 27. He was 36 when fear of losing his eyesight forced him to end it. In June 1660 he was appointed Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board, a key post in what was probably the most important of all government departments - the royal dockyards. epys's diary is not so much a record of events as a re-creation of them. Not all the passages are as picturesque as the famous set pieces in which he describes Charles II's coronation or the Great Fire of London, but there is no entry which does not, in some degree, display the same power of summoning back to life the events it relates.
First, I want to note that I read the Lord Braybrook edition, a gray book with no photo on the cover, which is based on the highly purged (boring to modern readers) Victorian edition of 1893. Every cheap book on iBooks or Kindle ($.99-4.99) despite the different covers, is this exact same version. They leave out the most interesting and personal passages, like on Jan 1, 1660 Pepys laments that his wife got her period so is not pregnant (Not in this edition, I found that out by reading Wikipedia), and instead includes endless notes on who Sir Bla-Bla was (who cares?). That was proper for Victorian times, but dull as dishwater now. But Pepys Actual diary written in 1660- was Filled with juicy everyday details like Access Hollywood. For this you have to buy the definitive edition by Robert Latham and William Matthews in 1983. Sadly it’s not yet available on iBooks or Kindle. Crying. However, there is a $14.99 version available that is edited by La Galienne with a forward by Robert Louis Stevenson. I got a sample to see if it was based on the Latham-Matthews edition, but the silly thing ended before even the first page of the diary. However, it did have some interesting passages in the Forward, one about him in the countryside with a lady not his wife and meeting a shepherd, that showed promise that the $14.99 version Might be based on Latham-Matthews, or at least more interesting than the 99 cent versions. I bought the hardcover Latham-Matthews, but may try the $14.99, just because it’s so much easier for me to read an iBook.25
Interesting first hand account of his life at the court of King Charles II, including living thru the great fire, court politics, society and inventions of the age. A reminder that people are basically the same in behavior, though centuries past by and customs change ...45