Samuel Pepys: Diary (2804 words)

Neil Forsyth (Université de Lausanne)
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Pepys began to keep a diary on 1 January 1660, and kept at it for almost ten years. It is more than a million words long, and is written in a form of shorthand. Pepys writes frankly about his own weaknesses, and that is interesting in itself, but it is the accuracy and detail with which he records events of daily life that make the diary of such great use to historians. It gives rare insight into the life of an upper-middle-class man during the seventeenth century. Pepys wrote on subjects such as the time he got up in the morning, the weather, and what he ate, as well as his issues with money. He wrote about his new watch of which he was very proud (and which had an alarm, a novelty at the time), his cat waking him up at one in the …

Citation: Forsyth, Neil. "Diary". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 January 2021 [, accessed 02 March 2021.]

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