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File:SamuelPepys 6745.jpg

 "Up betimes and to the office..."

Samuel Pepys (pronounced 'peeps') was a 17th Century English civil servant who is famous for keeping a remarkably frank daily Diary between 1 January 1660 and 31 May 1669. (This was perhaps not as dangerous as it sounds, as the diary was written in a form of short hand most people could not read, later mistaken for a deliberate code.) The diary is an exhaustive record of everything he thought noteworthy, from important historical events like the Great Fire of London, to the plays he watched, meals he ate, and other people's wives he slept with.

Pepys' diary for this day in history, preserved as a Blog, is available here.


Tropes related to Pepys and his diary:

  • Badass Bureaucrat: Pepys was responsible for making the Royal Navy the Trope Codifier of Badass Navies by his skill in administration and his ruthless demand for meritocracy. According to some accounts his influence will be felt thousands of years from now.
  • Brutal Honesty: Of of the diary's most salient features is Pepys' honesty about everything, from cheating on his wife to accepting kickbacks from contractors.
  • Gallows Humor: "I went out to Charing Cross, to see Major-general Harrison hanged, drawn and quartered; which was done there, he looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition."
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: Pepys conceals many of his more indiscreet entries behind a deliberate word salad of Latin, French, and Spanish.
  • It Will Never Catch On: It can be seen that Shakespeare's reputation wasn't quite as good yet in Pepys's as it is today. He called A Midsummer Nights Dream "the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life", Romeo and Juliet "a play of itself the worst that I ever heard in my life" and Twelfth Night "one of the weakest plays that I ever saw on the stage". He liked Othello and Macbeth though.
  • Kavorka Man: Pepys himself. Despite his regular dalliances with tavern wenches and his maids, he even made one of his subordinates pimp out his wife to him in return for a promotion. Ironically, his wife was also probably cheating on him as well.
  • Not So Different "I went, and Mr. Mansell and one of the King's footmen, with a dog that the King loved, which shit in the boat, which made us laugh and me think that a King and all that belong to him are but just as others are."
  • Your Cheating Heart: Pepys was unbelievably unfaithful towards his wife Elizabeth, and at the same time suspected her of cheating on him with a dancing instructor.

 "And so to bed."

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