The Diary of Samuel Pepys

  • by Samuel Pepys, Hattie Naylor
  • Narrated by Kris Marshall, Katherine Jakeways, Full Cast
  • 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Radio/TV Program

Publisher's Summary

Kris Marshall and Katherine Jakeways star as Mr & Mrs Pepys in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the world famous diaries.
Samuel Pepys was 26 when he decided to start keeping a diary, in January 1660. For the next 10 years he faithfully recorded the day's events and confessed his innermost thoughts. That diary has since become one of our most important, and fascinating, historical documents. Pepys gave us eyewitness accounts of some of the great events of the 17th century, including the Great Fire of London and the Second Dutch War. He also told us what people ate and wore, what they did for fun, the tricks they played on each other, what they expected of marriage, and even how they conducted love affairs. He described London - the frozen river Thames, the rising crime rate and the poverty - and recorded the details of his own life: his wife, rivals, lovers and friends, his work for the Navy, his drinking and social life.
Over 350 years may have passed since Pepys first put pen to paper, but the man and his preoccupations feel surprisingly familiar. In this major BBC Radio dramatisation of the journals, the sights and sounds of his world are vividly conjured. This collection comprises all 10 radio series plus a special Saturday Drama centring on the Great Fire of London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Entertaining and insightful

Where does The Diary of Samuel Pepys rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the best books I have heard so far. It was wonderfully performed and had me completely hooked from the beginning.


What other book might you compare The Diary of Samuel Pepys to, and why?

I don't think this can be compared to any other book. It is a unique book as Samuel was a civil servant who gives a primary account of the politics and major events of the time as well as how ordinary folk lived and interacted.


What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

This is dramatised as opposed to being narrated. Wonderful acting and definitely leads the imagination.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I zipped through this book and would have happily listen to it in one sitting if I had the time.


Any additional comments?

Funny and insightful, not a boring moment.

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- Deborah Wyman

A first rate dramatization of a seminal diary

As other reviewers have said, this is a very enjoyable listen that transports you back to the middle of seventeenth century London. It covers the decade 1660 to 1670, which was a time when lots of important things were happening. There was ongoing naval warfare with the Dutch, the Black Death and the Great Fire of London. The dramatization brings Pepys diary to life and does not seem to take liberties with his text. This diary is a real insight into what London was like in 1660, its sensibilities, daily goings on, political intrigue, brutal punishments for law breakers and basic medicine. It does well in covering big issues, as well as covering the day to day life of a fairly well-off professional (and perhaps rather flawed) working man.

Enormous praise must go to the cast and production team who have excelled in the verisimilitude of this adaptation. It really is first rate. If you are interested in English history and enjoy dramatizations, then I thoroughly recommend this audio book.

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- Mark H

Book Details

  • Release Date: 18-09-2014
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Ltd