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!)


First Reading

Roger Miller  •  Link

Today's Observer has a profile of Claire Tomalin.


(The Observer is the Sunday stable-mate of The Guardian.)

Ms. Tomalin is the bookie's favourite for Whitbread Book of the Year to be announced on Tuesday.

Peter Mehlin  •  Link

Interesting, I ordered the book earlier today. You all have me so interested in Pepys now that I thought I should do some catch up reading.

Roger Miller  •  Link

I've just seen that Claire Tomalin has won the Whitbread Book of the Year for Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self.

This is the BBC report:…

JohnO  •  Link

Buy Tomalin's book at

Eric  •  Link

I am trying to ascertain details of a dispute between Samuel Pepys and the Swedish Ambassador Sir John Barckman Leijonberg (,Leyenbergh or Lyonberg)in respect of which Pepys was ordered by the King not to engage in a duel. The order was in the form of the letter set out below. I would be grateful for any information.

Letters and Second Diary p. 39 l. n. 37. MATTHEW WREN TO S. PEPYS
November 9th, 1670.
SIR, His Majesty having accidentally heard of some dispute between You and the Resident of Sweden, (Sir John Barckman-Leyenbergh). to prevent any further Inconvenience that may happen, has by my Lord Arlington Principal Secretary of State signified his Pleasure to Me, to require You neither to send any Chalenge to the said Resident of Sweden, nor to accept of any from him; But that as soon as You receive this You immediately attend the Lord Arlington.’

I am, your most humble Servant
For Samuell Pepys Esqr. at the Navy office.


Barbara Trotman  •  Link

I'm trying to find out more about the Rev.John Smith who was, according to Tomalin, the first scrivener/ translator of the original diary. If anyone is able to help I'd be very grateful as he was apparently one of my ancestors.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Rev. John Smith (1799–3 March 1870) was the Rector of St Mary's church in Baldock in Hertfordshire and is noted for being the first person to transcribe the Diary of Samuel Pepys.[1]…

William Mclaughlan  •  Link

Claire Tomalin has described Samuel Pepys and his life story in great detail, I myself did not have an education, and there are a few paragraphs which I don't quite understand and have to go back over it. But having said that, Claire has opened up the very interesting world of this wonderful character, we owe Pepys so much for letting us have so much insight into past events. So, I would like to give a very warm thank you to both Claire Tomalin and Samuel Pepys.

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