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

Narrated by: Leighton Pugh, David Timson
Length: 42 hrs and 43 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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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 theatres, and how he relaxed from the Puritan way of life.

©1983 Robert Latham (Magdalene College, Cambridge) and William Matthews (University of California) (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks

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  • Alison
  • 16-09-2015

I am treating this like marathon training.

I love diaries, and this is perhaps the master-diary. I also like long and easy-going reads. This is ticking all the boxes. That said, it is just so very long, even for me, I am, after listening to the first 2 volumes back-to-back, listening to one at a time and then listening to another, entirely different sort of book before going on to the next volume of Pepys.

As there is really no plot whatsoever, this does not leave you wondering 'what next?' because you know that next, Samuel will eat another venison pasty, go about his work and his house renovation, meddle with the affairs of his family, have talk with his wife, write his journal and so to bed. If I tried to listen to it all in one lump - which would take weeks - I think even I, with high thresholds of tolerance when it comes to lengthy books, would give up.

It is well read. Not over-acted, with just the right hints of peeve or greed and lust, but mainly just conversational. Accents are not needed which is a relief.

I may be imagining a very inaccurate vision of his London, but as we go about his day-to-day rounds together, I think I can see the London of his day, in my mind's eye. The effect of 'living' with him and his family etc over a long period is that of layering up his contacts, friends and colleagues so it becomes a mini-soap! I also love the daily food references and very much want to try capons, venison pie and plum porridge. Not so much the tripe.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon Evans
  • 01-03-2015

Great

Truly amazing! Still Holds true for life today. Can listen to this time after time. Huge laughs throughout. What a man.

7 people found this helpful

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  • C. J. Cox
  • 07-06-2016

Brilliantly read

If you could sum up The Diary of Samuel Pepys: Volume I: 1660 - 1663 in three words, what would they be?

Virtual time machine.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Diary of Samuel Pepys: Volume I: 1660 - 1663?

"...such bawdy articles against him as never was heard of. one, that he should upon his knees drink the King and Queenes health at Lisbon, wishing that the King's pintle were in the Queenes c*nt up to her heart, that it might cry 'Knack, knock' again."

Which character – as performed by Leighton Pugh and David Timson – was your favourite?

Pepys himself.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No - it's a bit too long for that.

Any additional comments?

The reading is magnificent. Leighton Pugh's tone subtly supports the comedic elements to very amusing effect, and brings sense to some very knotty 17th C verbiage.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mackman01
  • 29-09-2017

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

Very interesting accounts from the period, and, I thought, very well read. I would recommend this, ready to listen to the next volume now.

3 people found this helpful

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  • MRS AUDREY MAWBY
  • 20-05-2016

17th century life

I liked the honesty of Samuel Pepys who wrote a detailed daily journal, recording the business he undertook for the Admiralty and his personal hopes and fears for his career and fortune in service of the King. He records intimate details which are affecting his relationships with his family and servants,his clothing, food, transport, entertainment, study, religion and his health and conscience. So he becomes very well-known and it is easy to imagine life of the well-to-do in London between 1660 and 1663.
What an amusing way to learn history listening to such a pleasant voice.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sean
  • 19-10-2018

I didn't know

If i would enjoy this but I did for sure, the language, the way they lived, too much religion i personally believe and thank the gods medicine has improved, one of the most unusal books i've ever read in my life almost, and so to bed.

2 people found this helpful

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  • John Hirst
  • 15-08-2019

Brilliantly Narated



I have listened to all three unabridged volumes of Mr Pepys diaries read by Leighton Pugh. He has made it an easy matter for me to travel back 350 years and to actually feel part of the story. A great investment in both time and (low) expense.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for chironseth@hotmail.com (Paul)
  • chironseth@hotmail.com (Paul)
  • 17-06-2019

Fascinating

A very well absorbing performance from the reader. Very well ‘acted’. Making the listener believe it was being recited rather than read. An absolutely fascinating insight into 17th century life. Some very surprising and amusing passages, not to mention sordid and candid in places.

I would highly recommend this. I’m going to buy the next volumes as well as start the first again. I can see this being an annual listen. Fantastic

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-04-2019

I loved it. true history by one who lived it

Not everyone's cup of tea. The day to day life of a man who lived through one of the most eventful years in history. l loved it warts and all nothing left out

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul Carley
  • 28-12-2018

A great text well read.

I'm very glad that this work is available unabridged.
It is read very well and I'd happily listen to many more by this narrator.

1 person found this helpful