Wednesday 20th February 2008
The site has been mentioned favourably a few times in the press recently, mainly due to its inclusion in Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web by Sarah Boxer (Amazon US, UK). Here’s a quick summary for those who are interested.
‘Short Cuts’ in the London Review of Books:
The best of the lot, though, is the diary of Samuel Pepys, which a web designer called Phil Gyford has been posting in daily instalments since 2003, using the text already online at Project Gutenberg. It doesn’t exactly not fit in here, which rather puts paid to the whole idea that there’s something ‘distinctly bloggy’ about the style of blogs.
‘A Book of Blogs?’ in Newsweek:
Take the most striking example. In “Ultimate Blogs” you’ll find excerpts from the Diary of Samuel Pepys, a 17th-century English naval administrator and member of Parliament. Beginning Jan. 1, 2003, a Web designer and programmer named Phil Gyford began serializing Pepys’s diary online as a blog. The result is a fascinating experiment and a wickedly fun read. But why include it here? The Pepys (pronounced peeps) diary was originally published as a book. Yes, it was neat to see how it translated to the Web. But now, for reasons that are never explained, here we have it in book form again. Dizzy yet?
‘Blogs Without the Links’ in the New York Times:
Diary of Samuel Pepys, a blog that is run by the Web designer Phil Gyford and consists solely of entries from the renowned diaries of the 17th-century Londoner Samuel Pepys.
Unrelated to the book, the site also gets a mention in ‘High-Design Bible Draws Attention’ in the Wall Street Journal:
The diary of Samuel Pepys has been turned into a blog, with daily entries corresponding to the 17th-century original, at www.pepysdiary.com. The creator, British actor Phil Gyford, says the site gets around 35,000 unique visitors each month. “I thought I’d like to read the diaries, but the 10 volumes were a daunting prospect,” he says. Transmitting it as a blog “seemed obvious,” he says.
And finally, we’re described as one of the ‘50 Best London Websites’ in this week’s issue of Time Out, the London listings magazine:
If blogs had existed in the seventeenth century, Samuel Pepys would have had one – and it probably would have looked a bit like this. It’s a pet project by web consultant Phil Gyford in which Pepys’ diary entries are presented in real time, starting in 2003. It’s an odd approach, but makes the man’s work digestible and rewards daily visits.