Monday, September 07, 2009

And speaking of Peeps...

Speaking of Peeps, I'm also obsessed with the diary of Samuel Pepys (yes, his last name is pronounced just like the marshmallow confection). Pepys was one of the great diarists in English history, and his diary -- written in a shorthand code as many men did in his day, both for privacy and for expediency -- forms one of the best firsthand accounts of 17th-century England. Pepys lived through both the Great Fire of London and the Plague. He was a fellow of the Royal Society and he knew Isaac Newton. His remarkable library is one of the jewels of Magdalen College, Cambridge (as a classical radio announcer I learned to pronounce that "Maudlin." It's a sideways pronunciation, kinda like Peeps.).

An English web designer and actor named Phil Gyford runs the Best Site Ever if you're a 17th-century history geek like me -- The Diary of Samuel Pepys. This is Gyford's decade-long effort to put the entire magnum opus on the internet, day by day with links. Wowie. I like it so much that I read it every day and I also sent a monetary contribution to Project Gutenberg as he requested (he also has an Amazon wish list, so I sent him Season One of "Arrested Development" at his request -- he doesn't accept money, but he'll allow the occasional DVD of Gratitude).

Above is Pepys's signature from England's National Archives.

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