Samuel Pepys 1633–1703
Pepys was educated at St Paul’s School, and at Cambridge. He gradually rose in his career as a civil servant, which culminated in two periods as Secretary to the Admiralty, in which he worked hard to improve the navy. In 1660–9, he kept his famous shorthand Diary (pub. 1825), where observation of the Court and public life is combined with his personal interests in music, drama, science and women. The extracts are from the period of the Great Fire of London, which destroyed 13,000 houses and many public buildings, leaving 100,000 people homeless. Note the use of the river for everyday transport.
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