“The diary which Samuel Pepys kept from January 1660 to May 1669 ...is one of our greatest historical records and... a major work of English literature,” writes the renowned historian Paul Johnson. A witness to the coronation of Charles II, the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666, Pepys chronicled the events of his day. Originally written in a cryptic shorthand, Pepys’s diary provides an astonishingly frank and diverting account of political intrigues and naval, church, and cultural affairs, as well as a quotidian journal of daily life in London during the Restoration.
In 1825, when Pepys’s memoirs were first published, Francis Jeffrey of The Edinburgh Review declared, “We can scarcely say that we wish it a page shorter... it is very entertaining thus to be transported into the very heart of a time so long gone by; and to be admitted into the domestic intimacy, as well as the public councils of a man of great activity and circulation in the reign of Charles II.” Edited and abridged by literary critic and author Richard Le Gallienne, this edition features an Introduction by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Richard Le Gallienne (1867–1947) was one of Britain’s leading literary critics. His abridgment of The Diary of Samuel Pepys is considered a triumph of editing.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) is one of the most widely read and admired novelists of the nineteenth century.