Whether you found this site while casually browsing the Internet or were specifically
looking for information about the Club or about Pepys himself, we hope that you find
the information in our pages interesting. Pepys was a complex and extraordinary man,
knowledge of whom only came into the public domain at the beginning of the 19th century,
following the publication of the diary of Pepys’ friend, John Evelyn, in which were
numerous references to Pepys.
But of course the diary covers only nine brief years of Pepys’ life. Exploring the
many historic documents about him in various archives around the country, mainly
in the Pepys Library and in the Bodleian Library has revealed far more about the
man, his life and times.
The Matthews and Latham edition of the diary has given a depth and understanding
of the diary period which was missing from the earlier editions. It was published
over a period of 13 years from 1970 to 1983 but involved research carried out for
far longer than that.
Foremost among the books which have covered his life in its entirety, are the series
of 4 written by the late Sir Arthur Bryant in the 1930s, “The Man in the Making”,
“The Years of Peril”, “The Saviour of the Navy” and “Pepys and the Revolution”.
Richard Ollard’s book “Pepys - A Biography”, which he published in 1974, took a closer
look at some aspects of Pepys’ character which not been studied in depth up to that
In 1926 a different type of book about Pepys, containing a selection of diary entries
was produced by O.F.Morshead and illustrated beautifully by Ernest H. Shepard, who
had also illustrated the Christopher Robin books by A.A.Milne.
Claire Tomalin’s masterpiece “The Unequalled Self” which she published in 2003 has
become a best seller, not least because of a wealth of additional information about
his entire life, also an exploration of his attitude to those around him and the
times in which he lived, which she has included following extensive research.
There are of course many more books and documents about Pepys available for purchase,
often in bookshops which specialise in historic, rare and out-of-print editions.
Many other websites have information about Pepys and links to some of them are accessible
via the external links button on the left of each page in this site. Each of
the top four pages in this website explores a different aspect of his life and his
diary. Those in the bottom half give details of the Samuel Pepys Club, its history,
composition and an insight into some of the activities which it undertakes as well
as details of the two charitable trusts which it oversees.
We welcome enquiries about Pepys or about the Club and these should be addressed
to the Secretary through the link below. As the Secretary receives many requests
from children who are studying Pepys as part of their schoolwork we have included
a page for them which we hope will be helpful to them but if the answer is not there
email the Secretary who will be delighted to help.