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Old 07-14-2008, 03:16 PM   #1
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Pepys, Samuel: Diary (complete); V1; 14 Jul 2008

Samuel Pepys (pronounced somewhere in the range of "peeps", "peps", or "papes") was a high-level functionary in the British Government in the middle of the seventeenth century. He is most famous for creating a daily journal (this diary) of his life. Although spanning only 10 years, it turns out to be a very momentous 10 years, indeed. There is the Restoration, a coronation, the plague, the great London fire, wars, several varied internal conflicts, and many foreign intrigues. Pepys is in the middle of all this.

Pepys was nether royal nor noble, but freely mingled with all these. His official functions seem to have given him both official and social access to the highest of society. He freely mingles with them - meets, eats, plays, and converses - and seems to be known by name and face to all such as were important in the land at the time.

This diary is neither as salacious as a supermarket tabloid nor as boring as you might think. Each day's entry ranges from a short paragraph to several pages - on the average, a half a page. Topics range from political events, to social events, to cultural events, to common routine events, and even just opinion and commentary. All in all, a brilliant glimpse into the "life and times", at a critical period in British history.

As would any such diary, the entries are built on a foundation of custom and common practice unique to the time. Centuries later, not having that foundation, we could be at quite a loss to even begin to understand or experience the flow of events - but several editors, over the years, have laced the diaries with inline "asides" that explain at least the most obscure of these. In the end, this makes almost all of the diaries quite intelligible and a very fascinating read.

From time to time, Pepys, assays a particular and focused topic that captures his attention. There are a number of scientific inventions that he is among the first to see. He describes in some detail how gold and silver coinage is made (this being something new and wonderful in his age). And then there are the frequent visits (always at night!) to Gresham College where he witnesses some strange or wonderful medical experiment.

Since Pepys' "day job" was with the Admiralty office, we get a lot of information about that most awesome of British accomplishments - the British Navy. And this is all prior to and run-up for the apex years of this institution - the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. At this point the Navy and the ships are all a hodgepodge of various designs and experiments. The highly uniform and very structured Navy - as epitomized in the person of Admiral Lord Nelson - is yet to be.

It is also important to realize that in this age, every battle and every encounter is uncertain. There is a lot of pushing a shoving amongst the various international powers, but no obvious winners, and the lead changes hands many times. Alliances are created and dissolved frequently. With these skirmishes, bits of property (land, cities, islands, etc.) change hands many times. Total worldwide reach of the major empires - and circumnavigation - is still relatively new and largely unexploited - this is in the very early days of the East India Company. The interplay of the European powers in relation to global dominance seems a lot like a game of "musical chairs" in this period. All this is prior to the more extensive and formalized form of "colonization" and prior to the great age of Rule Britannia. And roughly coincident with the founding and preliminary settling or the Americas, and a century before the American Revolutionary War, and the subsequent birth of the United States of America.

To my knowledge, while there are several inadequate attempts, there is no well organized and structured version of these Diaries for the eBook community. In this case I have started with largely PG text and reformatted and reflowed the works into 10 yearly volumes - all these now having a clean and uniform format.

As usual, I am providing the tested LRF version and the complete HTML to facilitate conversion to other formats. This is very tight HTML code that has passed the W3C validator. Although designed with the Sony Reader in-mind, there are few, if any, aspects to these books that would prevent them being adequately converted to other formats.

These volumes are also something of an experiment - and something different - for BeBB-formatted eBooks - sans serif font, square (not indented) main paragraphs, and doubly indented (L&R) subparagraphs.

Statistics for this complete set of volumes include:
~ 1.3M words
~ 6,000 paragraphs
~ 1,500 pages as a Word document or as web pages.
~ 4,000 pages on the Sony Reader
This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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Old 07-14-2008, 03:19 PM   #2
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wow, amazing work !! thanks ! i've been wanting to read the diaries of Pepys. i'm really glad to have a nicely formatted version. thanks for including the html for us non-sony people, and thanks for validating it, for us pro-standards people.
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