One of my regular morning activities along with that first cuppa tea as I do the crossword puzzles in the National Post and the Ottawa Sun newspapers is to read the daily extract from the diary of Samuel Pepys, which he kept for about ten years during the 17th century, on the Post’s puzzle page
If Samuel were alive today I am sure he would be an avid blogger, for his diary entries included not only his experience of the great events of his day — Charles II’s return to England from exile , the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London — but the minutiae of his personal life, including marital spats, the meals he ate and his sexual experiences with women other than his wife. The disruptions he experienced from home renovations struck a chord, I having had the same problems during my own home reno.
There are many things I like about Samuel. He was a sociable, jovial man, a bon vivant, musical and an avid theatregoer (he really liked Nell Gwynne); and he was also an hardworking civil servant (secretary to the navy),who cared about the state of his country.
On the downside if he were alive to day, Samuel would no doubt be facing a variety of sexual charges. His sexual encounters with other women were numerous and he detailed in a mixture of foreign words so that no one could read them. Such behaviour seemed to be accepted at the time by almost everyone, particularly the king, who had a bevy of mistresses. Samuel wrote his diary in a form of shorthand so no one else could read that, too.