Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Starting: The Diary of Samuel Pepys
The first book I am attempting is The Diary of Samuel Pepys (pronounced "peeps" like the marshmallow animals).
Samuel Pepys was a naval administrator and an MP (member of Parliament) in England in the 17th century. He kept a fairly extensive diary from 1660 until 1669 which is notable for it's eyewitness accounts of the Great Plague of London (one of the last pandemics of the bubonic plague that killed over 20% of London's population) and the Great Fire of London.
There are abridged versions of the diary as well as the "complete" version which I am reading. I put complete in quotes because, for some reason, it does not actually contain every word, but it is very nearly complete. The version I'm reading on my Kindle can be found here.
The complete diary clocks in at a whopping 2711 pages and after two and a half days of reading, I've finished 4% according to my Kindle. The language is not as difficult as I supposed it might be; it's fairly straight forward. I do wish, however, that I had a firmer grasp of British politics during this period, as he regularly refers to things of which I have no knowledge. As with all old diaries I've read, I'm enjoying the particularly human parts; those parts that make you say, "Ah, I know exactly what he means," or, "Well, some things haven't changed in the last 350 years." There are certainly some dull parts, but I am enjoying it so far.
More updates to come!