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Happy 388th Birthday to Samuel Pepys

Today is the birthday of Samuel Pepys (London, 1633).

Thanks to Pepys and his diaries, we have a fairly clear picture of 17th-century Restoration England. Without his observations and accounts, historians would have had to rely on the single, government-run newspaper operating in London at that time, and that paper was subject to censorship. Pepys wrote about the plague of 1665, the Great Fire of 1666, and the coronation of Charles II. He recorded more mundane matters as well: his eating habits; toilet habits; intimate relationships with his wife and several other women; and social events that he had attended.

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you can get nibbles of his diary every day, several times a day usually, all on his twitter feed.

He shares bits from his diary in real time (a few years time lag, probably because of a busy Router or slow Internet)

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He wrote his diary entries in a style of shorthand, and apparently 350 years ago, several shorthand styles existed. No standardized emojis, I’m sure, but a time -and ink - saver.

He attended the first ever Punch puppet performance (sans Judy) and wrote about it. Today, I wonder whether he’d be a frequent contributor to YouTube, TikTok, or whatever, for video to go with his tweets?

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Wonder if he ever dug that cheese up or whether it got fondued in the Great Fire? 😂😂

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Pepys was Naval Administrator, Chief Secretary to the Admiralty and a Member of Parliament.
He associated with the highest levels of London society, yet his diaries are down-to-earth in their writing style.

Pepys' Diaries are available in paperback from Penguin books (paperback) and well worth a read. His account of the Great Fire of London in 1666 is the only day-by-day account of that event that we have.
He watched Old St. Paul's Cathedral burn. The cathedral on that site that we see today was designed and built after the fire by, famously, Sir Christopher Wren from 1675 to 1710.

Pepys' diary told about everyday life in London in his time, and life in his home.
Many editions which have been published omitted passages about Pepys's sexual adventures which editors thought too obscene to be printed. Some editions leave these passages in the book just as they were written; these can be purchased from Oxford University Press.

The small church where Pepys and his wife are buried--St. Olave's near the Tower of London--is the most interesting I have found in London. It is a medieval church that escaped being damaged in The Great Fire of 1666. It was the church Pepys and his wife attended. Near this church is a blue plaque that marks the place where his home stood. Even the entrance gate to the church is interesting........

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Don't forget George Frideric Handel (anglicized), February 23, 1685. Happy 336!

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Pepys gets mentioned in a recent episode of the foodie podcast "Gastropod" because he recorded his tipping habits when dining out and traveling. If a bigwig was going to a country estate for a visit, he was expected to tip the estate's servants for the extra effort they had to put in while he was visiting, the payment called 'vails'. When pubs and commercial restaurants developed the habit of vails continued.