Pepys: of diaries and bureaucracies

Last Christmas, Joan bought me Kenneth Branagh’s reading of Samuel Pepys diaries. I listened to them over the course of the summer, on my way home from ballgames.

Pepys was a delightful diarist, and worth reading for all sorts of reasons. One which (naturally) appeals to me is that he was a professional bureaucrat in a time when bureaucracies were new to European government. Bureaus were small, too; they seem to have run the Royal Navy with just a handful of clerks. (I seem to be ignoring the admirals….) Part of the fun when I read Pepys is watching him feel his way around the organizational issues. Not to mention office politics. And real politics.

At least I don’t have the King of England watching over my shoulder….


Phil Gyford’s Pepys Diary website posts today’s entry each day, blog-style, 343 years to the day after they were written. A splendid application of modern technology, if you ask me.

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