Memoirs of Samuel Pepys, Esq. F.R.S. Secretary to the Admiralty in the Reign of Charles II and James II. Comprising His Diary from 1659 to 1669, Deciphered by the Rev. John Smith, A.B. of St. John's College, Cambridge, from the Original Short-Hand Ms. in the Pepysian Library, and a Selection from His Private Correspondence (in 2 Vols.)
first editionFull leather
by Richard, Lord Braybrooke, Ed
London: Henry Colburn, New Burlington Street, 1825. Full leather. Very Good +. A handsome 1st edition of Samuel Pepys' famous diary, which remains one of the great sources for the study of Restoration England. Complete in 2 thick quarto volumes, with 12 engraved plates, including a folding map. Bound in a gilt-edged full leather (dark-brown calf), with ornate gilt-titling and tooling at the compartments. Boards lightly rubbed at edges and corners, very light foxing --and just a bit of offsetting opposite the plates-- thruout the text. Both volumes tight, well-preserved and solidly VG+. This seminal diary, which Pepys wrote from 1660 to 1669, presents a fascinating picture of the official and upper-class life in Restoration London, with vivid, honest accounts of ordinary as well as great events, including the Plague and the Great Fire of London. The diary went unprinted for more than 150 years after its original composition because of its coded shorthand. For 3 years, the Rev. John Smith painstakingly deciphered the diary, all the while unaware that Pepys had taken his code from Thomas Shelton's "Tutor to Tachygraphy" (1642), which sat only a few shelves above the diary in Pepys' library. "It is a document of extraordinary interest, on account both of the light that its sincere narrative throws on the author's own lovable character, and of the vivid picture that it gives of everyday contemporary life, of the administration of the navy, and of the ways of the court". OCEL. NCBEL II:1583. GROLIER ENGLISH HUNDRED 75. (Inventory #: 12805)
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