Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) lived through one of the most exciting and troubled times in British history. He saw the people rise up in the name of liberty and execute their king. During the plague of 1665 he endured months of terror when friends and neighbours fell prey to an epidemic disease for which there was no cure, and the following year he witnessed the Great Fire of London. Towards the end of his life Pepys – and the country – suffered further upheaval when his patron, the Catholic James II, was ousted by the Protestant William III and Queen Mary in the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688.
This book, published to coincide with a major exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, explores the public and personal worlds of Pepys, not only a famous diarist whose description of the Fire of London is unequalled, but also an energetic and talented man who rose from modest beginnings to become the greatest naval administrator of the age.
With an introduction by Claire Tomalin, Pepys’s award-winning biographer, engaging essays on a range of key topics, and illustrated throughout with a rich variety of paintings, engravings and objects, Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution provides a fascinating portrait of the later Stuart Age through the life of someone uniquely placed to experience its triumphs and disasters.