Archive for the tag 'restoration england'

Peveril of the Peak by Sir Walter Scott: a short review

Absolutely delightful. I read this book on a whim, and found it far more engaging than I anticipated. Scott’s a delightful writer, with a good eye for character and a conversational style. The story itself is preposterous, though based in fact, and great fun.

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Samuel Pepys by Stephen Coote: a very short review

A solid biography. Very different from Tomalin’s; this one’s focus is on Pepys’ career.

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The Last Presbyterian Sermon

Great Britain was still reeling from religious wars, and it wasn’t clear that they’d not resume.  One of the many fascinations of Pepys’ Diary is the insight it shows into that turbulent time.

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Hangman

Pepys was born in 1633; already his life had seen Charles I beheaded, Cromwell’s republic, and the restoration of the monarchy.  The issues which drove these revolutions were not settled during Sam’s life, and it likely wasn’t entirely clear that the situation had fully stabilized. 

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Pepys: of diaries and bureaucracies

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.

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