Published: June 2012
'Immaculately well done. Tomalin has managed to unearth a wealth of material about the uncharted life of Samuel Pepys.' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
'Sex, drink, plague, fire, music, marital conflict, the fall of kings, corruption and courage in public life, wars, navies, public execution, incarceration in the Tower- Samuel Pepys's life is full of irresistible material, and Claire Tomalin seizes it with both hands. Fast, vivid, accessible.' Hermione Lee, Guardian
'A rich, thoughtful and deeply satisfying account. It takes us behind and beyond the diary - which means that, on finishing it, we can reread the diary with greater pleasure and understanding then ever before.' Noel Malcolm, Evening Standard
'In Claire Tomalin, Pepys has found the biographer he deserves. Her perceptive, level-headed book finally restores to the life of the diarist its weight and dignity.' Lisa Jardine, New Statesman
'A great achievement and a huge pleasure. A vivid chronicle of contemporary history seen through the all too human preoccupations of this ordinary and extraordinary man.' Diana Souhami, Independent
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