Elizabeth Pepys and Charles II on the BBC

A couple of people have pointed out that the (fictional) diary of Pepys’ wife, Elizabeth Pepys, is being serialised on BBC Radio 7. I’m not sure that you can listen to previous episodes, but if you check the schedule you can hopefully work out when others are broadcast. You can listen live on the site.

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Hear the life of Robert Hooke

Roger Arbor writes: “Radio 4 is running this week excerpts from the life of Robert Hooke… later in the diary we will meet him, and Samuel writes of how impressed he was with him.”

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Another 17th century diary decoded

The Telegraph has an article about a million word journal kept by a puritan minister from 1677 to 1691. A relatively small part, 40,000 words, was, like Pepys’ diary, written in shorthand which has now been interpreted. It’s due to be published in 2005.

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Tomalin's Pepys biography for £4

Tina emailed me to point out that Claire Tomalin’s recent biography of Pepys is available at Amazon UK as part of their “3 paperbacks for £12” promotion (plus postage and packing). The small print reveals that you don’t have to buy three books — you can just buy one for £3.99 (plus p+p). Crafty!

Shortand, Charles II on TV, and Tomalin

A quick round-up of news and queries from my inbox…

Rafael was wondering where he could see an example of the shorthand Pepys used, based on Shelton’s. If anyone has any thoughts, ideally but not exclusively online, then post below.

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Audio readings of the diary

Ed emailed me and wanted to ask everyone about their experiences of audio recordings of the diary. As this is currently the only place to discuss this kind of thing, it’s over to Ed:

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Pepys music on BBC Radio 3

Michael Filiksy let me know about a show that might be of interest. He says:

“This week the BBC Radio 3 show “Music Restored” presented a celebration of Pepys’ 300th death anniversary. The program(me) includes music of Pepys’ London (Purcell, Locke, Playford, etc.) interspersed with the diarist’s words read by an actor. There seems to be a gap of a minute or so at about 3 minutes, but stay with it and be rewarded. The commentary is by Lucie Skeaping, the host. BBC seems to archive these programs for one week only, so tune in before Thursday 1 May.”

You can listen to the show and read the playlist.

Claire Tomalin answers questions

A while back I pointed to a place at The Guardian where you could post questions for Pepys biographer Claire Tomalin to answer. This week she’s answered them. (Thanks Kim.)

She says she’s tried to use this site in the past but has been “frustrated by the site crashing.” I’d love to know what browser and operating system she’s using, and what exactly happens, as I thought I’d squashed all such bugs weeks ago. If anyone knows how to get in touch with her…

Steve Coogan to play Pepys in BBC drama

The Mirror has a brief story about Steve Coogan playing Samuel Pepys in a one-off drama as part of a BBC 2 series about “famous literary figures.” Filming is in the summer. For non-British readers, Steve Coogan is best known for his comedy character Alan Partridge, a TV presenter who falls on hard times and presents an early morning local radio show. It’s great stuff but his other work often doesn’t quite hit the mark (in my opinion).

Question and Answer with Claire Tomalin

The Guardian has a Question and Answer with Claire Tomalin, the author nominated for a Whitbread Award for her Pepys biography. Strangely, the page doesn’t say when Tomalin will be fulfilling the Answering part of the deal, so you’d better rush over and ask your Questions now. Unfortunately you need to log in or register before you can submit questions, but don’t let that put you off; follow the “log in” link on the page to register. (Thanks for the tip mum!)