Origins of Pepyss famous diary unravelled

The diary of the seventeenth-century cultural icon Samuel Pepys - which contains references to bribery, illicit sex, and criticisms of powerful men – has an enduring legacy, and Dr Kate Loveman from the School of English will be unravelling why it was written at an event at the National Maritime Museum on Thursday 26 November.

The talk, which is part of the Maritime Lecture Series ‘Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution’, will explore why Pepys kept his diary in such tremendous detail for 9 years and why he did not subsequently destroy it, given the incriminating content of its pages.

Dr Loveman said: “I hope this talk will add to my audience’s appreciation of Pepys and of his writing. In particular, they will hear about the diary’s role in Pepys’s strategising over his reputation– which, by the end of his life, extended to efforts to shape the opinions of his diary’s future readership - who, as it turns out, are us.”

The talk draws upon research conducted by Dr Loveman in her book ‘Samuel Pepys and his Books: Reading, Newsgathering and Sociability 1660-1703’.

‘Why Did Pepys Keep a Diary?’ takes place at the National Maritime Museum on Thursday 26 November between 11:00am – 1:00pm.