The 350 Year Old Diary

One of the most famous diaries in the world after mine is by a chap, who to me seems a bit pompous, called Samuel Pepys and this year it is exactly 350 years since it was started.

The diary in question is Samuel Pepys’ and was started on January 1st 1660 and carried on for nine years which is a bit of a long time, but it is as interesting as it is heavy and has some priceless extracts some include watching the Great Fire of London in 1666, living through the Black Death a year or two before and some about his private life.

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The private moments in Pepys diary pain a rather unpleasant picture of the workings of London’s sewer system which was frankly non-existent.

Pepys moved into a new house and tells his readers what happened soon afterwards.

“Going down into my cellar I put my foot into a great heap of turds [from his neighbour’s toilet]… which doth trouble me.”

Pepys was not usually a man to call a “turd” a ‘turd’ because he was patronised heavily by king Charles II being appointed to the Navy office and rose through the ranks to become a very influencial and powerful member of the upper class, not bad for a tailor’s son from Fleet Street.

One of the best bits of his diary proves that he is a real Englishman when he describes trying for the first time a drink newly arrived in England – Tea – and says that he enjoyed his “cupp” very much.

If you haven’t dipped into Samuel Pepys’ diary I can hardly say that this Cat blames you it’s so big, but it is nice to think that diaries are so universally appreciated and that my diary will one day be 350 years old as well, I am sure that there will be a party to celebrate – I wonder what presents I will get?

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