Kris Marshall (My Family) stars in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the famous diarist's account of the aftermath of the Great Fire of London.
Following on from the acclaimed radio dramatisation of Pepys' complete diaries, this further instalment of his chronicles focuses on events following the cataclysmic inferno that destroyed much of the capital 400 years ago.
When the Great Fire of 1666 was finally extinguished, little remained of London but smouldering rubble. Samuel Pepys witnessed first-hand the impact it had on the city and its people, and would be haunted by what he had seen for the rest of his life. Thousands of homes and many key buildings had been destroyed or damaged, including St Paul's Cathedral.
Now aged 70, in poor health, and living with his servant Will in Clapham, Pepys remembers the devastation. He recalls burying his prize Parmesan to keep it safe, standing in Moorfield among the homeless as London burned, going out in his carriage to look at the ruins, and viewing the plans for the new city that would rise from the ashes - its centrepiece a magnificent cathedral that would be hailed as a masterpiece.
Starring Kris Marshall as Samuel Pepys, this entertaining and enlightening adaptation by Hattie Naylor vividly conjures up the sights and sounds of Pepys' world. Duration: 1 hour 15 mins approx.
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Easy to dip in/out as 15 minutes episodes
BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYE'S AS PEPYS DIED
This is an excellent sequal to the first series which I re listen to throughout the year.One needs to look at this production as a 'scene' from the past like a memoire of Pepysremembering the horrific time he his wife and his devoted servants, feared for their lives their loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods as well as the loss of the London they knew and loved. Unlike the first wonderful series which as well as being informative is full of great funny scenes and dialogue, this production is rightly more subdued due to the frightening subject of the Great Fire. There are still laughs but this is more in line of a 'Tribute to both the strength of the City of London and the genius of Pepys .
We are drawn into the horrific time of the Great Fire of London almost feeling the heat and smells of smouldering wood and feeling the tensions and fears of the Citizens as they struggle to save their world from going up in flames. Each of the actors brings to life the characters of this absorbing tale which I thought they did with tenderness and respect for their subject.
Pepys burying his rare and very expensive Parmesan Cheeses like gold in that era, a valuable comodity which could be exchanged for coins. He realy did bury the cheeses but he did not write if he had dug them up again. The final scene brought tears to my eyes as we hear Samuel upset and preparing to leave his life as his faithful servant and much loved friend William of whose home he lived in old age, sat singing to his friend and master till the last breath of Samuel Pepys draws to a close. All this was done in a tender way the actors too taking their final bow.
I listened in one sitting, it is just over an hour long. To appreciate and accumilate the atmosphere, I find one sitting to be the best way to get the most enjoyement out of this.
I own several 1st editions of Samuel Pepys Diaries and have visited the Church 'St Olave's' which he and his wife loved and where their funerals and buriels took place. To listen to dramatisations of the Pepy diaries is a real treat, one I enjoy over and over satisfying my Pepys hunger when it strikes. These productions really do bring Samuel Pepys world to life. Please let us have more :)