Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Great Fire of London - Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys writes in a manner that is so archaic you wonder. Then you see he writes in the period of 1665-66 or thereabouts. His diaries were considered important documents for the English Restoration period  as he wrote in great detail and covered many important incidents that happened during that period including the plague, the great fire of London and the Anglo Dutch war. Pepys was a naval administrator and MP and his reforms were seen as instrumental in the building of professional Royal Navy.

The book contains his accounts of the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London 1965. The Great Plague lasted from 1665-66 and claimed 100, 000 people which accounted for a quarter of London's population then. The Great Fire of London which raged from September 2 - 5, 1666 consumed 13200 houses, 87 Parish churches and burned down the dwellings of 70,000 of the 80,000 inhabitants. Started in a bakery at midnight the fire raged through the city reaching temperatures of 1700 degree Celsius.

Pepys has a very interesting style of writing. It is his account of the events that is more interesting - how people would not leave their houses until the flames almost consumed them, how decisions were delayed, how he got his gold together and got away to a safer place. 

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