Trade Ed. Hodder Headline/ Trafalger Square 2003
CS ISBN 1840327316 $15.95 Two cassettes
Pepys (pronounced PEEPS) kept a diary in cipher from 1660 to 1669, when he was working himself up the ladder of London officialdom. His accounts of the Plague and the Great London Fire are fascinating. The diary reveals him as vigorous, earthy, amusing, diligent, and keenly observant. Those interested in understanding the England of this tumultuous period could do no better than to consult Pepys (and Defoe's A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR). Lacking notes, this brief selection is of use mostly to students trying to make sense of Pepys's abbreviated style and antiquated diction. For such a task, the celebrated actor-director Kenneth Branagh is very helpful. He admirably conveys the thrust of the entries and the personality of the diarist. Much of the underlying emotional content is missing, however. Y.R.
(c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 04]