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Posted on May 31st, 2012, by

British literature: Samuel Pepys

Brief biography of Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys was born inLondon, to a family of a tailor, and had ten siblings, until seven of them died. He was a curious and talented boy, and after graduating fromMagdaleneCollege, he became a secretary, earning little money and struggling to make ends meet. He started writing a diary being 27 years old, and kept it till his death. He spent much time in the library, and was famous for his rich collection of 3000 books, which is now kept in Magdalene.

The second row of books is occupied by his diary notes, containing valuable and eloquent memories. (NNDB, 2007).

What is Samuel Pepys famous for?

Samuel Pepys is known for his diary notes, which were made during the Great Plague and the Great Fire inLondon. He began writing it in 1660, and kept it even after he’d lost his eyesight. The diary was never supposed to be published, especially due to the fact that these were his private notes. But it was admitted to contain valuable information about tragic historic events (Latham, 2006). The manuscript of six volumes was finally deciphered in 1822. The decision to publish it belongs to George Neville.

What were the themes of his writings?

He wrote about the Great Plague, which caused deaths of 40,000 citizens ofLondon. It vanished only in 1680, after 15 years of people’s sufferings. The disappearance of black rats and destruction of dirty slums contributed into the elimination of plague. The diary also contains information about the coronation of Charles II (McGrath, 2002).

Samuel Pepys was skillful in observation of little details, and had a captivating style of writing. He wrote about people and their life during those hard years, and aroused deep emotions among readers.

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