Some time ago Laura K suggested we have a roll call for readers of the diary to say hello. This seems like a good time.

Whether you’re a regular annotator, or have been quietly reading along since the beginning, or have only recently joined us, please do post a comment below and say hello to your fellow readers around the world!

You don’t need to write much. As Laura suggested, just let us know where you’re from, how long you’ve been reading, and anything else you’d like to share.

If you haven’t posted anything before, don’t overlook the “What is Samuel’s surname?” question in the form that helps filter out the spammers. And note that the first time you submit the form you’ll see a preview of your comment, and then you’ll need to click the “Post” button to finally submit it.



First Reading

Tom Erickson  •  Link

Tom Erickson from Minneapolis here.

I've been reading -- rather sporadically, for, I would say, about 8 years. In part out of interest in this period, and in part because I study online communities, and is a fascinating example. I still harbor an ambition to write a paper on what's happened here...

cheers! --Tom

Tamara Glenny  •  Link

I'm British but have lived in New York for many years. Have been reading pretty much since the beginning, though there have been gaps and periods where I skimmed through rather minimally. Have loved the period since I did the Tudor and Stuarts for my A-levels! In New York I get together with a group of friends every month to read a Shakespeare play—you can read about it here!…

Wish I could be at the wrap-up get-together in London, but no such luck.

Alan  •  Link

Hello to all from Florida, US. I've been reading since the beginning, adding few annotations at that time.
I've done a bit of work for Phil in the background too. In a way this whole experience has been a gift from my grandfather whose worn copy I found on our bookcase shelf far too long ago for me to be able to thank him. So maybe I can by thanking you all for enriching not only Sam's life but mine too. You're a mighty good troupe.
God's blessings to you all. Hope your meeting is merry.

Peter Clarkson  •  Link

I live in Staines. Been here from the start and posted a few annotations in the early days. It's been a great journey and it's been a pleasure to share it with you all....

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Hello from a British expat in Maine! I have been following the diary since the beginning, though I have rarely posted a comment or annotation in recent years. While we're remembering posters, I'd like to put a word in for the sadly missed Keith Wright, of Arbyrd, Missouri, a lovely man whom I have missed a lot since he died a couple of years ago - he was a regular private correspondent with many of us. Unfortunately I won't be able to make the scheduled get-together in Massachusetts tomorrow, as I have a new granddaughter who arrived three weeks ago and I wouldn't miss my daughter-in-law's first Mother's Day celebration for anything.

Regards to all Pepysians.


GrahamT  •  Link

I have been reading almost from the start, and have managed to follow the diary from various parts of the UK, France and Switzerland, and while visiting Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, New Jersey and San Francisco - wherever I can get an internet connection.
I live in Maidenhead, Berkshire, near Windsor Castle, but usually read the daily updates from work. My office is sited in what was the Moorfields in Pepys' day, (now Finsbury Circus) opposite the old Bedlam Hospital, so I get a little thrill at knowing I walk in his footsteps whenever he visits Moorfields.
Several times I have visited Crutched Friars and St Olave's, and I photographed the bust of Elizabeth on the wall there. There is a link to my photos somewhere on the site.
I will be at the London walk/lunch at the end of the month.

Art perry  •  Link

Art from Chicago. I started reading at about 1665 and I plan to catch up on the beginning of the diary when (hopefully) Phil starts pushing out daily posts again. Thanks! This has been a fascinating saga and has inspired me to read other Restoration books and sources!

Kay  •  Link

I live in Michigan, U.S. I only found the site sometime this winter. Been reading daily (sometimes several entries trying to catch up). So sad that the diary is coming to an end, but grateful that the site will stay up. Many thanks to the many commentators for helping readers to better understand the entries.

Pauline  •  Link

Remember hHomeboy? Wonder if he is still with us in a reconstituted, tapped-down incarnation? I started reading The Diary on the 20th day, here in Seattle USA. I am one of what Keith Wright called the superannuated English majors trying to get their heads around an online community while reading the diary they had always meant to read. Think how far we have come in these ten years: participants in a pioneering use of the internet; all the other ways the internet now affects our lives; how much we have learned about Restoration England; the intimate acquaintance we have with one man who lived in that time. Not to mention our lives outside reading together: along the way I picked up two grandchildren.
A pleasure being part of this. Thank you, everyone. Thank you, Phil!

Dodie Buchanan  •  Link

I too have been reading sporadically over the last 18 months / 2 years. I wish I had found this site earlier! It was introduced to me by my 3rd cousin (we found each other on - and if we both make the Pepys Lunch it will be our first meeting). I have always been interested in Pepys - due to my father who revered him and had Arthur Bryant's book 'The Man in The Making' and the Diaries. Although I hadn't got around to reading either it felt part of my heritage! This site made Pepys feel so approachable I was finally able to delve into these books and Claire Tomalin's.
As well as the actual diary I just love reading the annotations. Thank you all for your input and thank you Phil for putting all of us Pepys/ historian lovers together.

Ian Greenwood  •  Link

I'm a primary teacher who has used the diary with my class of 11 year-olds for several years (Plague and Fire#, but have too little spare time to follow this site as much as I'd have liked. I retire in July, but I guess the site may have 'retired' before even then.
I like to walk around Seething Lane, trying to imagine what it must have been like, and spotting all the Pepys-related places nearby. I even pop in at the Samuel Pepys bar next to Queenhithe from time to time, which is pleasant, with views across to the Globe Theatre, though the name is the only obvious connection. I reckon there should be informal monthly meet-ups there (or maybe at Gordon's, which claims slightly more connection) for anyone who wants to drop in for a glass of wine and a chat!

Australian Susan  •  Link

Greetings from Brisbane, Australia! I have lived here for 21 years but still identify as English (from Co. Durham and Buckinghamshire in origin). I have been reading the Diary since 1661 and love the motley crew of annotators each with special gifts to offer.
Like Pauline I remember hHomeboy and the late Keith Wright (missed) and also Emilio and Vincent.
It has been wonderful to connect with something so very English and have conversations through this blog with people who have similar interests (17th century history etc.)
The Wheatley edition (in a nice 3 vol navy blue edition) was one of the first presents my beloved husband gave me when we married (1975!). I started a few times to read an entry a day, but flagged. Reading Tomalin gave me the inspiration to delve into the internet for more information - I found the Diary - the rest is history.....will miss this so much. Another link to England broken away.

Ed Whipple  •  Link

This is my second reading of the diary. The first was the L&M edition borrowed from the local library. (I do own the first and last volumes though.
I read every day in synch with the original dates. I don't think I've missed a day since I started in 1660.

Matt  •  Link

Hello. I have been reading from the beginning (this site has been my homepage). I posted only rarely. Many thanks to all of you who posted amazingly well researched annotations. You all have made this a wonderful read.

Sulie  •  Link

Hello from Olympia, WA. I had always meant to read Pepys, but somehow I never did, until I found an abridged edition with charming illustrations by Ernest Shepard at a library book sale in 2009. I was hooked, looked online for a website with more, and found this. I've enjoyed getting the daily diary entries so much! Thanks, Phil, and thanks to the people who posted all the interesting annotations.

Mark Hazard  •  Link

I've been following the site since Dec. 2004. I live in Maine, teaching Latin at a rural high school, very active in community theater (we did our own edit of Hamlet last year). I first got interested in Pepys while working in the shipping room of a bookstore in Seattle in the 70s, where I came across Helen Hanff's '84 Charing Cross Road,,.' Later, I bought the Mynors Bright set, and then replaced it with the L&M set, but had never read the whole course of the diary until with this group.

Jennifer  •  Link

Hello from Germany :) I've been reading for a year or so now and I've enjoyed the annotation in particular, I've learned so much from you all.

Peter Easton (PHE)  •  Link

Brit/Londoner living in Brussels since 2005. Was there at the start, with first post on 2 Jan 1660. Followed daily at first, but sorry to say I have lapsed in recent years. Wrote some short articles - on St Margaret's Church, The Banqueting House and Fleet St - 'In depth articles', Sept 2005. Had planned more, but.... Got into Pepys, when my mother as a school librarian gave me some old editions they were clearing out. Sam is one of the most underrated characters in English history. It annoys me how often he's portrayed as 'just' a jokey bawdy character who wore funny wigs and cheated on his wife. Both he and his life are fascinating for many reasons - which those of us attending the London meet up later this month will be able to discuss.

Gillian Bagwell  •  Link

Hello, fellow fans and friends of Sam. I discovered the site four or five years ago, I think, and have had it as my homepage. Though I don't always manage to read the entries, I still like it being there.

I've long enjoyed Pepys and he is a character in my novel about Nell Gwynn, "The Darling Strumpet," popping up in scenes which he memorialized in his diary, hanging around backstage and chatting up Nell and her fellow actresses. I'm grateful to him for the record he left us of her performances and the life of the theatre of the time.

Before I was an author of historical fiction, I was a theatre actress, director, and producer, so I have a special interest in his observations on the theatre.

It's been great to occasionally be able to search the diary for references to people or events in the course of my research. I used many of Sam's vivid phrases and colloquialisms in "Darling Strumpet." I annotated a few references to Nell and the theatre.

Wish I could be in London for the walk and lunch, but I can't. And the U.S. gathering is on the opposite coast from me - I'm in Berkeley, California.

I have posted a few little videos on my website of "Nell Gwynn's London" - mentioning Pepys in the one on Covent Garden. They're not great technically and I hope to do some more when I'm in London in September for the Historical Novel Society Conference.

John Mertz  •  Link

Reader in North Carolina. I think I started in 1660, about the time Pepys was assigned to bring the King's spaniel ashore.
It's been a delightful romp through the 17th century. Thanks Phil et al.!

Charles Reiss  •  Link

I tried long ago to read the L&M edition but failed to persevere; then came across this site in 2009 - I only wish I had known about it from the start.
It has been wonderful to experience the diaries day by day as written, not to mention the fellowship of this group. And I still admire the way the site is so brilliantly organised.
As an ex-journalist, I am still stunned by Pepys' power of reportage, and his almost uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time.
I'm in London and very much look forward to the gathering on May 26.
Best wishes to you all.

James Fowles  •  Link

In London and a civil servant (so Sam's spiritual heir, kind of). This site has been an enjoyable part of my daily routine since the very beginning, and I'm going to miss it. The diary's mix of social history and soap opera is unique as far as I know, and combined with the insights into Sam's thinking make it as close to time travel as I'll ever get.

Bravo Mr Gyford for the inspired idea and all the subsequent hard work, thank you to the annotators for making genuine additions to the understanding of the diary, and most of all thank you to Mr Pepys himself.

Now what do I do at 11.00 pm every evening...

P.S. For those worried about going cold turkey, I suggest 'The Plot Against Pepys' by James Long and Ben Long, published by Faber and Faber. It's an account of the time (one of the times?) later in his life when Pepys was locked up in the Tower, and the extent to which he relied on one Balty St Michel to get him out.

Richard Waller  •  Link

I have been reading since it started when I was in Tokyo. I continued in the UK for a year (1662) and since early 1666 (2009) in Vancouver.
Very many thanks to Phil Gyford for this wonderful idea and to all who contributed.
My ancestor, Edmund Waller, was a prominent poet and politician of this time (the diary has a brief quote from one of his poems) and while his works and parliamentary speeches remain, how much I wish he too could have contributed a diary!

m vincent aka pinch of sal  •  Link

Thank you Phil and the fantastic band of commentors.
The Journal mentions so many locations that I had visited in my youth , that gave me the hebi jebies, like his visit to the great bed of Ware.
Now I reside in fantasy land and watch the sun set over the Pacific.
I wish that many will read and find inspiration to research the many of leads provided to a better understanding of our modern world.
Thanks one and all.

Mary  •  Link

I'm another follower from the beginning. Whether I'm at home (Kent) or elsewhere, my day always begins with the diary and I'm going to miss both it and my fellow annotators terribly. Phil merits the most sincere thanks for sticking so long with something that, I'm sure, grew into a much more extensive project than he at first anticipated. As for Pepys himself, I fully endorse PHE's comments on the value of being led to read the whole diary; only that way does one gain a view of the whole man.

Mary  •  Link

Hi, another Mary here. I'm in Melbourne, Australia.

I've been following for years - I have a full set of the Diary in hard copy, but I was so pleased when I discovered this site - lovely little bite-sized morsels to enjoy every evening after work.

For a while I kept a thread going at a message board, sharing some of Sam's entries with the other members. Even people who'd never heard of him loved it; it got lots of positive feedback.

Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to Phil for creating this site and keeping it going through the years.

I'll certainly be back for frequent re-reads.

Eric Mills  •  Link

I've been following Samuel for some time and find him fascinating. Recently I have discovered John Evelyn and am transcribing his diaries into html format ... someday, you never know ...

jeannine  •  Link

Greetings from the US!
I enjoy biographies and the Restoration period. While doing a web search on Queen Catherine of Braganza, I stumbled across the Diary in June 1662 (2004). I left an annotation about her in one of the daily entries. Phil contacted me and asked me to put my entry into the encyclopedia, which he was building at the time, and I happily obliged. From there I heard from a fellow annotator, Pedro, who was also reading about Queen Catherine. A conversation ensued and he roped me into the Diary. When Phil was looking for recruits to write some of the encyclopedia summary pages, I ‘adopted’ Catherine of Braganza, Lord Sandwich, Sir George Carteret, Barbara Palmer, Frances Stuart, Lord Clarendon, Charles Berkeley and Prince Rupert, among them. I’ve had fun writing more than a dozen In-Depth Articles and the monthly Story so Far summaries (which I picked up from Dirk in 1663).
What I enjoy most is the wonderful community that Phil has created. This has been an incredibly warm and welcoming group of people to share ideas with and to ‘virtually’ befriend. I’ve been lucky to expand many friendships beyond the Diary and have enjoyed communicating with annotators/readers around the globe. I’ve also had the pleasure to meet some of my fellow Pepys Pals face to face, which has been a true delight. I am so grateful to Phil for his perseverance, creativity and generosity with his time and talents. To all of my fellow Pepysians-those annotators and those readers, you’ve been a great group to share my morning tea with~~ will miss you all!

Stan Oram  •  Link

What a group! I've been a daily reader since I discovered the site about three years ago (about means it could be two, it could be four!). Not only has it been facinating to follow Sam but the comments from all others, especially those with links to other items of historical / scientific discovery thus putting the whole diary in a much better context, or those with particular knowledge of this period, have been of great interest. I live near Andover in Hampshire and part of our family folklore is that my 9 x Great Uncle, John West, was a signatory to a codicil to Pepy's will but I have no knowledge of how he came to be so involved with Sam. He set up a charity on his death which funds West's scolarships at Christ's Hospital and provided a small pension for his and his wife's siblings' offspring with the result that Christ's hosital have family history charts from this period right down to the current day. There is a John West families group which over the years has toured many parts of the country (and London in particular) which would have been common ground to Sam. I hope I can get to the London gathering since some of you I hold in great awe and can't wait to pick your brains to see what else you know! And of course - please add my name to the "Well Done"s to Phil.

Georgiana Wickham  •  Link

One regret - I didn't find this site till a couple of years ago. Now it's part of my day (and, whether they like it or not, part of my family's, too).

Actually, two regrets - that I can't even begin to approach the level of casual erudition of the annotators, who have added hugely to my enjoyment of it all.

Make that three - that it's finishing. Phil, huge thanks - you've done something terrific in bringing Pepys alive and in creating such a life-enhancing project. Please, please find a way of letting us all know what your next project is going to be - I'll be in there from the start.

Steve Robbins  •  Link

I have been reading Pepys diaries on and off for a couple of years now in paperback form (Latham & Matthews) and I am now up to July 1664 and looking forward to the next few years.

I found this site about a year ago and use it all the time for referencing people, words, and phrases in the diaries.

I became interested in Pepys as I was born in London and was a licensed London cab driver so London and its history is important to me.

Dave Jack  •  Link

Hello! from Harrogate in North Yorkshire. I have been reading now for about seven years, mostly daily but having to play catch-up a few times.
Thanks Phil, for providing this easy, (sorry, I sometimes skip the convoluted bits), and accessible way to read Sam's diary and thanks to all you commentators for the insights, background and observations.
We haven’t changed have we, still the office /work politics, the gossip, the marital ups and downs, the desire to increase our (bank) balances and the satisfaction when this is achieved, (sometimes)
All in all,a great view into the past.

Congratulations Phil.

Judith Boles  •  Link

I have had the great pleasure of reading the Diary from the beginning day. It has been such an experience and education. I moved from Cape Cod in Massachusetts to South Carolina during the time, but Samuel came along with me. Thanks to all the annotators, and Phil Gyford. It has been wonderful.

Joe Phelan  •  Link

I've been a lurking, periodic reader of the Diary since 1662 or 1663 in Reno, Nevada. It's been such a great pleasure, and I'm so grateful to Phil Gyford for his creativity and sheer stamina in making the site happen.

Teresa Forster  •  Link

I stumbled upon this site a year or two ago and, having been made redundant and hence with more free time, caught up by reading a month of diary entries and their annotations each day. I lived and breathed it all while that was happening. Mainly I lurk but have made a handful of comments, too.
Last summer I was able to go on a 'Pepys in London' pilgrimage, but I live in Cambridgeshire, in what used to be the old county of Huntingdonshire, and am fortunate in having easy access to  Brampton, Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon, Impington, Buckden, Cambridge and all the other places in the area associated with Pepys and his family – all of which I've now visited, marked and inwardly digested. The Pepys library in Magdalene College, Cambridge, was particularly special, not the least because I was able to view Sam's handwriting in his diary. Brought tears to the eyes...
Thank you, thank you, Phil and all commentators for a wonderful experience.

Brian King  •  Link

I've been lurking for years. Long enough for my baby son's name to be partially inspired by Mr. Pepys. Samuel's now eight years old!

Reading the diary on my iPhone is the last thing I do before sleeping - hence the lack of comments from me. Like so many here it's part of my daily routine and it's going to be hard for me to adjust once the diary's finished. I'll miss my taste of 17th century London and all the regulars here.

Thank you to all of you for your contributions and especially Phil for making it all happen.

Ruben  •  Link

I have been reading the diary from the very beginning. Not that I looked for it. Just serendipity. And then I was hooked by Sam! I followed from Tel Aviv, where I live and when traveling, from booths, hotel rooms or private houses. Sometimes I was in places with no internet connection, like up on the Caucasus or in the Amazonas. I felt bad and had to sit and read later to catch up quikly. As English is not my first or second language I mostly refrained from writing, but very much enjoyed every moment. I learnt a lot from Sam, from the annotators, from my own research and specially from Phil's way of doing things, that was the most important factor for the success of this blog.
Considering the end of the Diary, I decided to gather the graphics related to Pepys (not only the diary) and make possible to see the pictures on the Net. Finally, decided the place will be Facebook and the adress my Facebook account: where a special album is devoted to this endeavour.
You are all invited. I already posted 3 pictures and intend to continue to post regularly, as a complement to those that would like to read the blog again. Those who become "friends" wil automatically receive the pictures as they are posted.
Any advice, annotation or correction is warmly welcomed.

My wife and I are part of the 20 lucky ones that will walk the City with Samuel Pepys. YES! I am sure he will come to salute us, if not during the walk, when we eat and have a drink, or 2 or may be we will need 3 or 4 drinks to see him (may be a little blurred), but surely he will be there, as he probably will not miss an oportunity to raise a glass of beer. Do not laugh! I had already an encounter with Samuel Pepys, some 15 years ago, when after having some drinks I went to Madame Tussaud to see "The London Experience", an exhibition celebrating London. The car was moving through the tunnel in total darkness, turning rigth and turning left till I was sick of it and suddenly, Samuel Pepys was there with a glass of beer in his hand...

kim oliver  •  Link

Oh my, the end. I've been reading since the first day and have made just a few comments. How I will miss the Pepys community and sincerely regret not being able to be in London for the end of the diary. Last night, I actually had tears in my eyes realizing that this is the end of a remarkable historical document made comprehensible by all of the amazing bloggers. Thank you Phil and all of those who have participated.
How you will all be missed!

Would it be possible to campaign to have the great Samuel Pepys knighted posthumously?

Kim Oliver (aka pepyspal)

serafina  •  Link

Greetings to all my fellow Pepys' Peeps! I grew up in London not far from the Angel Public House where Sam watched London burn,and now live in beautiful Vancouver. Have been here from day one and have taken much delight in both the diary entries and all the annotations. Thank you everyone for making the 17th century come alive!
Joan Gauthier aka Serafina

Carl in Boston  •  Link

In 1971 I was sitting in a leather cushioned chair in a library at MIT, (across the waters from Boston), stretched forth my hand, and picked up The Diary of Samuel Pepys, 30 slim volumes, 14 point type, donated by a professor Toby. I liked the reading, and have read in Pepys for nigh onto 42 years. I like an abridged copy pretty well. So we done it. 'Tweren't bad. We done it.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

To him who came over the Internet
To free us from our boredom.
Samuel Pepys of London, in 1666
Father of the British Navy, and faithful
Servant of King Charles II, of glorious memory.
We drink a dram in memory
To Samuel Pepys and all the Pepsyians
Wheresoever dispersed over the face of the Globe.

Rob Hayward  •  Link

Started six months in but caught up swiftly as I worked out my month's notice at a job. I moved from London to Brighton during the years that I followed Sam. I think that I posted once about Balassa-Samuelson (no pun intended) when I was drunk. Thanks Phil and everyone.

Allan  •  Link

Hi , Allan from Greenfield, UK

I have posted rarely, but I read the diary every day, and I have since day one.

I have racked my brain to remember why I fell on it , but thank the happenstance that gave me my ambition to read the full diary

I really appreciate all the work you have done to maintain the diary Phil , that is a Good Thing To Do


Barry P. Reich  •  Link

Barry Reich from Yellow Springs, Ohio. I have been here pretty much from the beginnning, mostly lurking in the background, but contributing a few annotations. I always wanted to read the Diary but the prospect of a straight read was too daunting. Phil's blog provided the perfect format. All I had to do was live long enough. Now that the end is in sight, I feel a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Thanks to everyone's hard work and tenacity, particularly to Phil for providing daily pleasure. I have enjoyed your company, erudition and humor.


Karen  •  Link

Hi from Princeton, NJ,
I've been quietly reading for two years. I read the Pepys bio by Claire Tomalin and then did an online search of places Pepys lived in London. I was thrilled to find this site and did visit London and found Seething Lane and ate lunch in the park where I think the Pepys' house once stood. I love catching up several days at a time on the diary. I so appreciate this site and hope it continues after the end of the month. Thank you for all the work that goes into this!!

Ewalla  •  Link

Oh, I just saw this request for shouts out from readers. I came in late, having missed the first two entries. Then I started bothering Phil if I didn't think the entries were posted quickly enough. (Sorry, Phil!) I come from Vancouver, Washington, USA. I wish I could get back to the U.K. soon, but one thing Sam has shown us is not to count on anything for the future ... Thanks everyone for all the posts!

John  •  Link

Just saw the box to sound off! I've been reading since near the beginning - posted comments long ago, before the IQ of the collective group rose way above my pay grade! Thanks for introducing me to someone I thought I knew. From San Francisco

Jerry Isaman  •  Link

Okay, I'll confess. I've been lurking on this site since the beginning. I started reading on day one when I heard that it was starting up, and got hooked early on. I missed out on the third or fourth year, but sort of got caught up from the summaries and some spot reads, and have been a daily regular ever since.

Last year I made my first trip to England (from Tucson, Arizona, USA), a business trip. While I spent an enjoyable and educational six weeks in Norwich, I unfortunately didn't have any time in London to investigate Pepys old haunts or other points of interest. However, I've learned a great deal from this site, and greatly thank Phil and the usual annotators for thier knowledge, devotion and insights. I wish I could make the party to meet you all, but just can't at this time. Many thanks to you all!

Brian  •  Link

Hello from Baltimore, Maryland! I started reading about a month after the start and have been here ever since. I have commented a few times (probably a dozen annotations over the years) but most of the time have been content to read and enjoy. While I am a biochemist by trade I have always been extremely fond of history and in particular 17th-18th century Britain/northern Europe (the result of my undergraduate education long ago.) Through reading the diary I think I know the streets of London (of the 1660's at least) better than most cities of the present day. As others have said, I don't know what I will use for a home page once the diary ends.

George Tyler  •  Link

I have been following the story about the jealous roue for ages and will miss my daily update. A great human story.

George Tyler

New Zealand

sue nicholson  •  Link

First started reading the L&M edition in 1997 (I was short of time and the format was appealing), finally finishing it in 2003. Then I started again at the beginning and so developed a bad Pepys habit! Got drawn in to reading about 17th century London and history of London in general (Tomalin, Ackroyd). Found this online version about 5 years ago when I was researching some ideas I had about Pepys' house.
Many thanks to all contributors (especially Terry Foreman) who have added so much to my understanding and of course Phil for his inspired creation and subsequent diligence in maintaining the site to the end of the diary; a huge achievement. Will be travelling down from Yorkshire with husband Rob for the walk/ lunch on 26th.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Wow, where do I start? At the beginning, I suppose ... I was born at a very young age (no, not *that* beginning) ... I started reading the Diary about a week or two after Phil started posting it, having read about it on some online forum. I do marketing and communications work, and so have to keep up with the latest trends and best practices. Back then, blogging dominated what social media there was, and I thought this was a very good idea indeed – not only because it fulfilled my history geek/“superannuated English major” desire to read a Diary that had always attracted yet intimidated me because of its length and scope, but also because it promised to leverage the power of the Web in unique ways. For example, think how helpful it’s been to have hyperlinks to more information about people, places and events – it makes the Diary a much easier and richer experience.

Then there’s the community aspect of presenting the Diary this way. I learned so much over the past nine years from the annotators, and from all of Phil’s efforts – and made good friends along the way. We’ve even lost some (RIP, my gentle and generous friend Keith Wright). The community that has grown up around the Diary has been one of the most intelligent, articulate and civilized that I’ve seen anywhere online. Except for some tussles early-on with our troll-friend Hhomeboy (yes, Pauline, I do remember him!), and the occasional disagreement between annotators, this has been a remarkably friendly and even-toned bunch.

It’s been an interesting nine years, to say the least. I managed to keep up, and can honestly say I’ve read every day’s entry, though there have been times when I’ve fallen way behind and had to work hard to catch up. Much has changed in my life – I’ve worked for three different organizations, watched my children grow from kids into teenagers, lost a brother to brain cancer, ended an 18-year marriage (discovered quite suddenly that I was in Elizabeth’s position, which made reading those passages particularly poignant), recovered and found the woman I should have been with all along – but Sam & Co. have been a constant, a refuge that I could retreat to when the world was too much with me, when I needed to console myself with the knowledge that life ebbs and flows ... that, in the long run, the small daily hassles we all have to work through mean little as long as we live and love well.

My thanks to everyone who’s added to the annotations (and my education and entertainment) over the years, especially (in order of their postings above) Jenny, GrahamT, Pauline, Aussie Susan, PHE, Michael Vincent (whose salty observations never failed to amuse and sometimes bemuse), Mary and Terry (paired because, IMO, they offered some of the most enlightening annotations on the site), Jeannine (thank you for the articles, the verses and for the cards, both real and online!), Ruben, Glyn (author of excellent walking-tour itineraries, and amiable companion), Robert G and his Flights of Fancy (good band name, that), Language Hat (whose disciplined approach and sometimes curmudgeonly admonishments kept us all in line) and – most of all – to Mr. Phil “Does He Ever Sleep?” Gyford, without whom, etc. And, of course, to everyone else I’ve forgotten or inadvertently overlooked in the acknowledgements above. I’ve especially enjoyed reading the notes on this page and seeing all the lurkers come out of the woodwork!

And so, “Thus was this entertainment [almost] over, the best of its kind, and the fullest of honour and content to me, that ever I had in my life: and shall not easily have so good again.” I hope that even when the Diary ends, our friendships will not.

Robert Porter (Bob)  •  Link

I am a Brit now retired in Brisbane, Australia, after a working life as a teacher/lecturer that took me to Nigeria, Ghana, back to England, and Saudi Arabia. No day has been complete without my dose of the diary for the last three years. I shall feel bereft without it. I enjoyed it even more after reading Claire Tomalin's wonderful biography of Samuel which put people and places in perspective. I wish I had read that book first; I recommend it to all fellow Pepys lovers. My heartfelt thanks to Phil and all who have helped him in this fantastic enterprise. I do hope that he has plans to keep the site going in some form.

Mary  •  Link

Postscript: we can keep in touch and add further notes via the Yahoo discussion group, of course.

william wright  •  Link

Hello All. Been a reader of this wonderful blog for
only a couple of years or so.I have the great fortune
to have worked in the Cambridge area for many years
and visited Magdalene and the Pepys Library on many
occasions.I also have the bonus of a daughter who
lives not 5 mins walk from St Olave's. I sit in a pew
and just imagine the goings on that took place all
those years ago.I then wander round the area wondering
what Sam would think of the place now. Sad that the
blog is coming to and end and thanks to all for such
hard work and dedication.

David Clark  •  Link

Hello from Portland, Oregon. I first came across Pepys with a cookbook - Pepys at Table, a great little book for details relating to food (I would have buried my wheel of parmesan during the fire too!), which brought me to the abridged diary. I couldn't believe my luck when I found this website, I added it to my homepage and have been enjoying it for over four years. I hope, Phil, that you reset and continue to post from the beginning. I also look forward to going to the UK again to visit some of Samuel's old haunts.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

My son John, who seems to be aware of everything that happens on the Internet, called my attention to the Diary during its first week, in January 2003 (or 1660). Having recently retired, I was just at the right time and frame of mind to get hooked. John, in his very busy life, soon gave up following it, but I stayed with it up until now, and I guess I might as well stay on through to the end and see how it comes out. No spoilers, please.

Maybe a little self-revelation is in order in this context. After some early flailing about, I got a Ph.D. in Linguistics from MIT in 1967. I spent the first part of my career as an academic, at the University of California, San Diego. There I learned that my talents and interests were more in the direction of administration than research and teaching, and in 1975 I went to the U.S. National Science Foundation, where I became the first Program Director for Linguistics. That job suited me so well that I stayed there until I retired in 2001.

A couple of years after that my wife Susan retired from her career as a software engineer. We uprooted ourselves from the Washington, D.C. area and wandered in the wilderness for a while, finally settling in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we continue to live happily.

As a linguist, my special interest in the Diary has been the language, how it differs and how it doesn't from ours of the present. The Diary has been a time machine, taking me into the daily parlance of 17th century London, an enormous treat.

Last weekend I had the great pleasure to attend a gathering of Pepysians at Jeannine Kerwin's lovely home in Weston, Massachusetts. The redoubtable Terry Foreman and Carl Wickstrom were there as well, among other distinguished guests. I wish I could join the group gathering in London as well, but I did have that pleasure at the midpoint of the Diary, in September of 2007 (1664).

My profound thanks to Phil, the impresario who conceived of and produced this extravaganza, and to all of my fellow members of the audience, for your wit and wisdom, your civility, and your countless contributions to our joint effort to get the most from this extraordinary experience.

Timothy Mason  •  Link

I am a playwright and novelist living in New York City. Pepys' online diary has been an important part of my morning routine every day for the past 8 years. Endless gratitude to Phil, and my best to all those who, like me, have been touched, amused, gripped and enlightened by Samuel Pepys.

Malcolm Noble  •  Link

I have been enjoying each day's entry for quite a while now (years). Learned so much. The site has also prompted me to read several books on Sam. Very grateful to Phil for his work. I'm not a contributor because I'm not that sort (it took me a few days to decide to post this comment)

Emilio  •  Link

Hello all, it's been so many years since I posted anything. I started on the site not long after the beginning, and was a frequent poster for the first couple years. It's good to see that there are still a number of familiar names in the postings above. But then life got frantic for quite a while, and I stopped even following the diary for a long, long time. I was living in Boston at the beginning, and am now in Texas.

However, with the end coming up, I started reading again at the end of last year. It seems right for me to post at least this once more, to give a nice frame to my Pepysian experience. Thanks, Phil, for keeping the site running so well over all this time.

Doug Siddall  •  Link

I've been mostly a lurker here since the the first month of the diary, although I confess to falling off for a while last year. Since it's beyond my ability to get to London and meet you all, this roll call is the perfect opportunity to say thanks to a few people.

To Sam: Thanks for taking the time to write this diary, for your honesty, for exposing your hopes and fears, strengths and weaknesses, jealousies and passions, venison pasties and lamprey pies, vexations, joys and loves. I've learned more about British history, the English language, and human frailties than I ever would have thought possible.

To Michael Vincent (in all his incarnations), Robert Gertz, Language Hat, Australian Susan, Terry Foreman, jeannine, Carl in Boston, and all the other annotaters: Thanks for illuminating the language, history, values and mores of the Restoration England, for the fan fics, the questions, the humor and the all the various perspectives. Without you, this diary would have been beyond my understanding and I would have dropped it almost immediately. Your insights and explanations have made me a much smarter man. I hope that all of you find peace, friendship and love in the future.

To Phil: Thanks for giving us this opportunity to read the diary in a way that made it feel so alive and to learn so much. You must be a genius of the highest order and deserve some sort of prize. My hope is that you continue to find ways to express that genius and help the rest of us continue to grow.


Hamish Mack  •  Link

Hi, I've been reading the diary off and on from New Zealand since I read Claire Tomalins book about 5 years ago.
It's been great, thanks, Phil.

wisteria53  •  Link

I am a transplanted American living in London and have been with you from the beginning, even posted a few times. I had always wanted to read the whole diary; Phil, you made it possible and the rest of you made it enjoyable. Heartfelt thanks to all!

Larry Neal  •  Link

Hello from Washington, DC, where I've been greeting each morning betimes with Pepys for awhile now. Last time in London I dragged my wife and daughter to St. Olave's on Hart Street, because how could one not?

We all knew the run would end. Thanks so much to Phil for making it possible to read Pepys as he wrote, one day at a time. I missed the daily reports from the dairy's earliest years, and I hope you'll reprise the project so I can start again at the start.

Roger  •  Link

Hi all, I've been reading the online diary for 5 years or so, ever since I finished Ms Tomalin's excellent book. My interest is in weather and climate and have been interested in all references by Sam to his 'weather day'. I hope the weather links I referred you all to have been useful, ...look on the right hand side!. I have 2 puzzlements.... one is, why wasnt Sam ever Knighted? and, why cant Phil start it all all over again?!,another 'generation' is waiting to discover.....
Many thanks Phil,
regards, Roger The Weather, from Londonium

laura k  •  Link

What a surprise to see my name at the top of this thread! Thanks, Phil!

I have been reading the diary online since the week after Phil began the project, January 2003. Since then, I have emigrated from the US to Canada, become a Canadian citizen, lost two beloved dogs, adopted two more beloved dogs, ended one career, entered graduate school to start a new career - and generally changed my life entirely! When the Diary began, I lived in New York City. I now live in Canada - outside Toronto.

I've mostly read the diary in weekly installments, printing out a week at a time, as if it were a chapter in a book. Unlike most readers, it seems, I found it more satisfying to read The Diary in longer segments.

Also unlike most people - at least the regular annotators - I'm not sad that the Diary is ending. It's been an amazing experience, and I'm thrilled - and honoured, really - to have been part of it. Now that the Diary is ending, and I feel a happy sense of completion.

I offer my most heartfelt thanks to all the annotators who have enhanced this experience for me. And of course, I am so grateful to Phil Gyford for making this possible. Thanks to Phil, and thanks to Samuel Pepys.

Louise H  •  Link

Greetings from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I've been reading daily since about 3 months into the diary, though my annotations have been few. I went back to the beginning at some point, so have read every word of the Diary, and almost all of the annotations.

I'm not sure how I discovered the site, but had already discovered Pepys through the wonderful Branagh cassettes and the Tomalin bio when it started. This has been one of the 4 sites I read regularly, and I expect to miss my window into the past, and this interesting and lively community, tremendously. Many, many thanks to Phil and all you knowledgeable annotators!

Adam  •  Link

I've been reading two Pepys years a year for the last few years and regularly come for the enlightening and entertaining commentrary.

It's been great.

Mark Vandersluis  •  Link

I've been reading this since almost the start. It's a fantastic labour of love, just what the internet is for. Thank you!

htom  •  Link

Reading in Eagan, Minnesota since some time in the first week; wasn't the first day, because I had to "catch up". I followed a link from somewhere about an "ambitious project"; it was, and you've achieved a remarkable, commendable, success. I've always wanted to read this, tried a couple of times, and this has been a great way for me to do so. I've missed and caught up weeks and months here and there, and there were two gaps longer than that I just missed.

Thank you, Phil, and the crew of commentators. It's been a delightful experience, and I will miss it.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

I started reading in May 2003, read back to catch up and made the Diary my home page. I may have missed a few days here and there but have tried to keep up and be relevant. (I made it a policy not to read any background material. Now I can begin that journey with a knowledge of the Diary.) I live in Washington D.C., and found Sam's office politics of great interest and with familiar forms that I have encountered here in careers as a daily and weekly reporter, editorial writer, editor, defense analyst (National Security Council, Congressional Budget Office, National Defense University, etc.) and consultant to the World Bank. As the Diary draws to a close I am leaving Washington for retirement in the hills of Western North Carolina. I was sad to miss the Boston reunion and friends Terry Foreman, Carl in Boston and Jeannine whom I have met in the course of following the Diary, and regret that I will also miss the Last Supper (or rather, last luncheon) in London. I have greatly enjoyed the various jeux d'esprit of the annotators, as well as their displays of learning, and will miss this stimulating experience. Many thanks to all the Pepys community and especially to Phil.

Duke Doudna  •  Link

I learned of the diary project the week before it kicked off and have been reading faithfully from the beginning. Through the years I missed a few days while traveling, but always caught up as quickly as I could.
I describe the diary to my friends as a blog from the 17th century.
Pepys' peculiarities: his thirst for knowledge and learning, the pains he took in his work, his love of the arts and music, the contrast between his fear of God and inability to control his appetites, his poor opinion of Shakespeare's plays, the countless sexual predations among his household staff and dependent friends, his jealously for his wife, the time he beat his servant boy so badly his hands ached, which he followed by offering his pains to the Lord as evidence of his piety, the anxiety he suffered every time it was necessary to move his gold, his realistic assessment of the King's character...I feel bad for his eyes.

Jenifer D.  •  Link

I live in Portland Oregon. I had read the diaries before and remember feeling I had gotten to know a long dead Englishman as well as any of my dearest relatives. I started reading soon after the project started and have kept up day by day (mostly) since. I remember how amazed we were that the internet could make such a project possible, bringing together expertise from all over the world. Thank you Phil, and all you commentators, you have seemed like friends over the years. I will miss you all.

Tom Carr  •  Link

Tom from Torrington, Connecticut, USA.
I've been a faithful reader since 2003. I start every work day off with this incredible snapshot in history. It has been an important part of my life over the past nine years.

I've since acquired a couple of leather bound Wheatly editions and the complete L&M edition (disposed of by a Houston, TX library *gasp*).
Pepys' honesty and self reflection has inspired me to also keep a journal. I can't help wonder whether it will be read long after I'm gone.

Pepys' diary has certainly taught me many things about human nature, government and humanity. What a gem he's left to posterity.

And to the annotators - THANK YOU! This blog was truly unique to bring together so many alternate views, opinions and enhanced understanding of the diary. It was an experience that would not be possible with a traditional book. And a huge thanks to Phil for the dedication of posting entries every day and maintaining of this website. I work in IT, so I can relate to what a task this is.

Would that Samuel's eyes didn't cause him so much pain...
Visit the link to my website (click on my name) and drop me a line.
I will miss Mr. Pepys' daily entries and all of you.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

I found out Phil was going to put online the Diary I'd never read; so I've been here (in Murray, Kentucky, USA) from the start, with a browser or tab devoted to it . And what a trip ensued!

After lurking for a while. the diary drew out my interests in the history of religion, philosophy, law, and the beginnings of modern science (I had taught courses on the Philosophy of Science, the History of Science and Religion for which I'd read Newton's Principia and Optics, etc.), I posted and joined the social network here.

I learned much from this International cadre of complementary experts, incl. Michael Vincent (Cum granis salto, etc.), Glyn Thomas, Dirk Van de putte, Language Hat and Michael Robinson.

And when I was hospitalized in early 2007, I received cards and letters from the redoubtable Jeannine Kerwin, (Jeannine) Susan Thomas (Australian Susan), Peter Cutler (Pedro), and the late Keith Wright (Bradford).

I enjoyed the "13th" meetups of Pepysians in the USA: March 2011 in Upperville, VA, with Michael Robinson, Andrew Hamilton et al.… and this month in Weston, MA, at Jeannine Kerwin's, with Carl Wickstrom, Paul Chapin et al.

It's been very impressive to see all that Phil has done with this site. Many thanks to him for stimulaqting and filling the time of a retiree.

I'll miss the daily new post and all y'all (as they say hereabouts), but expect to be in touch with some of you here and beyond. (You know who you are!)

Peter Bates  •  Link

Greetings from Liverpool.

I've been following for about 5 years I think - doesn't time fly? Always interested in history and always meant to read the Diary, but this was an ideal format.

When a student in London in the early 1970s I sang in the choir of St Brides Church (restored by Wren after the Fire, and just round the corner from where Sam was born). When I was researching the Battle of Sedgemoor (1685) while working for Somerset County Council I had the pleasure of visiting the Pepys library at Magdalene College Cambridge to consult the broadside ballads that Sam had collected on a regular basis from the street ballad singers.

Many thanks for all the regular posters for their humour, edudition and curiosity, and to Phil for the hard work setting it up. There's going to be a gap in my life.

Bryan M  •  Link

Another hello from Brisbane, Australia. I’m an academic economist and I started following Phil’s blog in 1661 (2004). I had read an abridged version of the diary some time ago, but I guess like most here, I soon realised that this was a new experience. A daily adventure into an alternative universe with an erudite, amusing and (mostly) friendly bunch as fellow travellers/guides. Many thanks to the annotators, regular and occasional, whose background information and character analysis have helped make Sam’s world come alive.

Special thanks to Phil for his dedication and hard work in making it all possible. Such acts of gratuitous generosity make the world a better place.

Claire  •  Link

Greetings from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA! I have been reading for several years and enjoying it immensely. When the Great Fire was being described, I went around in a daze for several days, I think, wondering how life around me could be so normal when LONDON WAS BURNING.

Many thanks to Phil and all the well-informed annotators for the glimpse into Pepys' world. Someday I hope to make it to London to see the sights for myself.

djc  •  Link

I am not sure exactly when I started reading here, probably around 1661/2. Since then I have been checking the RSS feed daily. I have had the L&M volumes on my bookshelf since they were first published in the 1970's. I read the intro and the notes but have never managed to read more than a few days of the Diary itself. So this site has enabled me to finally read it.

Peter Woodsford  •  Link

I live in Cambridge, UK and will be joining the party in London for lunch today (26th May) with my wife Sue and her friend Linda and Linda's husband Colin. I have had the Diary as my home page for about five years and Sue and Linda give a course on Samuel for the University of the Third Age Cambridge. Many thanks to Phil and all the other contributors.

JDon  •  Link

The Diary has brightened my life among the bleak hills
of East Tennessee. Retired now and with nothing else
to do, my morning visit with Sam is a highlight of my
day. My real purpose in posting this is to thank the
annotators [bless you all!!] who have enriched
and clarified so many of the more obscure passages in
the diary and the lifestyles of the time. And let me
not forget Phil, the genius who started it all.
I propose sainthood or, at least, knighthood for him.
I missed a number of years at the beginning and middle
so would very much like to see it continue...

Linda F  •  Link

I live in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A., happened upon the site in 2003, caught up, and have followed along with a few gaps caught up since then.

I cannot thank you, Phil, and fellow Pepysians enough for all that you have done. This has truly been a window to another time, and I think we not only have looked but also have passed through it. You are a remarkable group of people, and I will miss the Diary and your comments and the knowledge that all of you are out there, following Sam and Elisabeth and their experiences, more than I can say.

God bless and keep you all.

Gillian Bradshaw (classicist)  •  Link

I came across the diary about five years ago while I was doing research for a novel set in the English Civil War: it cropped up when I googled '17th Century laundry'. I quickly forgot about laundry and became hooked. Thanks, Phil, Jeannine, R.G., and everyone else who's made it such a lively and informative experience. I suppose next January I can start reading from the archive--but it just won't be the same!

Maura Moran  •  Link

I'm an American ex-pat now living in Oxford, England, and have, been with the diary from the very beginning, having seen it announced in the Guardian just before it started. I wanted to get more more familiar with blogs (which still hadn't quite hit the mainstream in those days), and this one promised to be more interesting than most, so I made a note to start reading it on Jan 1st.

But if I came for the technology, I stayed for Pepys, swept up in his vivid descriptions of his everyday life, historical events, and his dramatic rise in the world. We're so lucky that he was such a good journalist, so curious about all of life, and also so close to the dramatic events and key players of this turbulent era. I find the history fascinating, and being often in London I get a little thrill walking down the same streets he did. But it's the diary as a unique account of a human consciousness that will stay with me the most - his joys, and merriment, fears, jealousies, vanities, curiosity, transgressions, and resolutions to do better are all so recognizably human.

I'm so grateful to Phil and to the regular annotators for creating such a rich and enjoyable site. The background information, hyperlinks, and comments have completely enriched the site and made it so accessible. It's been a pleasure meeting Pepys and his circle with you.

vivian  •  Link

I have been a reader since the get-go. I believe I saw an article in the NYTimes (?). I live in Greenwich, CT. Met with the group at Jeannine's on Mother's Day. (A great way to spend the day - Thank you, Jeannine & family). Thank you to Phil, the annotators, and, of course - Sam!!

John Lightbody  •  Link

Glad to have the chance to say 'Thank You' and 'Hello' to all. I have been a Liverpool UK reader since the beginning and have posted one or two comments.
I have particularly loved the unexpected things in the diary throughout the years: Sam's 'alarum watch'among them.
We'll drink a cup of kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne, Sam.

Jenny  •  Link

Hello from New Zealand. I first read the L&M version of Pepys volume by volume about 15 years ago. I came to this site about 18 months ago and read from the beginning until where I came in. I've enjoyed the site so much and all the annotations and annotators. I was a bit nervous about my first annotations - I seemed to be in very illustrious company!

Thank you so much Phil for this wonderful site and thanks to all who have made the site so enjoyable. Of course, without Sam and Elizabeth it would never have happened. Wonderful human people!

Peter Woodsford  •  Link

I have put some photos of the excellent celebration event in London last Saturday up on Flickr:…
Hopefully folk will be able to see them. I can add some identification if you can identify yourself.
It was a very memorable and enjoyable day. Thanks Phil for arranging it.
Peter (and Sue) Woodsford, Cambridge, UK.

mary k mcintyre  •  Link

Hello from Toronto, Canada!

The diary has given shape to each day over the last 9 years, for me as it must have done for Sam -- and as it has so clearly done for everyone posting here.

All things must pass. This November, I'll mourn Elizabeth, and remember the beautiful memorial to her that Sam had installed in St. Olave's. I will also remember Sir Christopher Mings, whose bravery and whose men's loyalty were described by Sam on 13 June 1666, and which inspired a great flurry of internet research by us Pepysians!

I'll miss you all!

Mary K. McIntyre

John Eure  •  Link

A reader in Roanoke, Virginia, USA (in the Blue Ridge Mountains) since mid-1660, when my elder son introduced me. I fully share the sentiments expressed by so many others. This has been an extraordinary experience from every standpoint – for nine years, a daily excursion, in the best of company, into a remarkable life and world. Phil, I cannot thank you enough for the unique venue and presentation you created, and have so carefully tended, for so long. What a remarkable idea, and what splendid execution! I tender the same thanks to the stalwart regular annotators (and those of us who have contributed only occasionally), whose curiosity, knowledge, wit, and thoughtfulness have made each day’s entry breathe the air of the living world. The combination has made Sam and Elizabeth and their world live again, after four and a half centuries, more vividly and more fully than any solitary reading, or graduate seminar, or professional symposium, ever could. I, too, will dearly miss it.

AnnieC  •  Link

Hallo to you all from New Zealand. I have learned so much from reading the Diary and the annotations. It's a real wrench to say goodbye. I cannot find the words to thank you enough, Phil and everyone.

PatB  •  Link

I've been a sporadic reader for the past 3-4 years. As a graduate student focusing on the long 18th century, I have found this diary to be both a treat and a valuable resource. Thank you.

On a recent trip to London (my first!) I made sure to visit Pepys Street and the church where he was baptized (St. Bride's). Samuel will always be part of the London I now know & love.

Ric Jerrom  •  Link

A lurker and occasional poster for about four years, desolated on my discovery of this that I'd missed so many years, desolated now... I've been working fitfully in the arts all over the world and at home in Bath UK: Phil's invention has been a fixed star in my very shunty firmament: Sam's great honest "thereness" helping me recalibrate last thing at night in many faraway places ( Shanghai for the "Great Fire"for instance). I'm surprised by how many of our company are Morning Tea Pepysians: I feel very brandy and cigarish in my Diary pleasure, my joy in the site's brilliant annotators - my huge thanks to all of you - exactly that of the most coruscating after-dinner conversation. In fact this whole thing has been that: a fantastic, agile witty conversation between Sam then and us - especially you annotators - now. Unique; vivid: thanks, Phil Gyford, for this gift: thanks all!

Terry W  •  Link

Greetings one and all. I'm from Braintree in England and have been reading the diary daily for the past 5 or 6 years and, very occasionally, contributing to the annotations. I've caught up with most of what I missed through the archives. Many thanks to Phil especially, but also to all the wonderful annotators. What a wonderful idea this was, and what a wonderful ride it has been. I hope you enjoy your rest, Phil.

Michael Wright  •  Link

I've been following from near the beginning. When I first found out that Pepys had a blog, it seemed a wonderful idea, and it still does, even now that blogs are normal. I'd never have persisted with the Diary in conventional form, but the daily dose has kept my interest.

Many, many thanks to Phil, and congratulations on a great internet triumph.

And now, back to the archives.

J. Templer  •  Link

Thank you, thank you Phil! I've learned so much, and so have many of my friends and family as I've kept them up-to-date on Sam's adventures. My favorite entries are about the spine-shivering ghost stories Sam heard while sleeping in the taverns/inns. I'll miss my nightly readings and Sam's "so to bed".
JT Boston, Mass

Maurie Beck  •  Link

I heard about the Peypys diary about a month after the first entry. I quickly read until I was current and have since been bringing in the day with it to the present. I had always meant to read the full diary, but Phil's site made it possible for me and many others to not only get through it, but to look forward to it. Like many, I'll no longer have the diary to look forward to, but there are biographies, etc. to read.

The diary opened up a point in history I was not very familiar with and now I'm hooked. For example, I had an idea of when the Royal Society was established, but reading about the Society in the diary, participants involved, and the questions the participants were asking gave me a tingle. I'm a biologist and I read articles from the Royal Society all the time.

All in all, it's been an amazing ride. Thank you Phil Gyford.

Maurie Beck

Buddy Nickel  •  Link

Public radio announced the start of this project nine plus years ago.

I have been here from day one, what a ride! Surprised we all made it.

Riverside California

Nate  •  Link

I've been reading Pepys with my morning coffee since shortly after the blog was launched and will really miss it and the contributors with there often arcane knowledge.

Hi Buddy!

Riverside California USA

Stan Collie  •  Link

I'm originally from Aberdeen but have lived in England since 1970.

I can't remember where I heard that Pepys was going to be online but I was lucky enough to be here at the start. Like many it is one of the first things I do each day and it will be sorely missed.

Even though I didn't contribute much in the way of annotations I did enjoy reading what others had to contribute especially the Royal Society experiments from Terry Foreman.

So thanks to everyone especially Phil and I'll probably be looking in again on Jan 1st next year.

languagehat  •  Link

Steve Dodson, aka languagehat, here; I've been on board from the beginning, which is long enough ago that I've moved three times since then (NYC to Peekskill, Peekskill to Pittsfield, and Pittsfield to Hadley, Massachusetts) -- two more times than Sam! Here's my first LH post about the diary:…

And I note that the only remaining comment on it (many comments on those early posts were lost in a Blogspot meltdown) was by David "Quidnunc" Gurliaci, whose presence I've sorely missed since he dropped out of the Diary crew years ago for reasons unknown. And of course I miss Keith Wright, like everyone else; I'm sorry I won't be getting any more of his cards and comradely exchanges about the editing biz. I'm glad the rest of you have stuck around; my deep appreciation to all of you for making this such an enjoyable experience, and my apologies for occasional curmudgeonliness -- I can only say that I'm a lot mellower at sixty than I was at twenty!

Lisa Liss  •  Link

I am sitting here reading the last pages of the diary and the final annotations. Who would've thought I'd be crying...
Thanks to all of you webmasters and annotaters, who have so enriched our lives. Thanks most of all to Sam Pepys.

Kent Kelly  •  Link

Hello from Greendale, Wisconsin.

Two or three days into the Diary slash dot mentioned it. I jumped in, caught up and have been here ever since. Haven't been to slash dot in years.
Thanks to all involved for the enjoyment, enrichment and community. A big thank you to Phil for all his work especially his inspired idea to put the annotator's name above their annotation.
Guess I'll have to go back to reading slash dot.

Max Wainer  •  Link

Hello from Atlanta, Georgia!
I discovered Phil's site a couple of years after it started. Of course, I had to start from the beginning and try to read ALL of the annotations. I had always meant to get around to reading the Diary, but never managed to do it until I found this site. I was pleased to have had a small role in helping the site by flagging a few of the truncations that occurred as a result of the Blogspot meltdown. Unfortunately, in attempting to catch up, I was reading a month at a sitting. It became a chore rather than a pleasure. I got burned out and stopped reading for a few years. I'm glad I came back.

My thanks to Phil whose hard work made it possible for me and so many others to enjoy this amazing window into the past. To be able to see history at the ground level rather than flying above it - viewing it from 50,000 feet as it were - is a wonderful experience, a gift.

I hope the Diary does start again next January, I'll probably read through it again. It would be a shame to close the annotations, but I understand Phil's reasons for doing so.

...and so to bed.

John Goldin  •  Link

Here in New Haven, Connecticut, I have been reading the diary since sometime in 1665. It has become part of my regular breakfast URL's: Donesbury, Dilbert, Pepys, NY Times, weather. It has been a wonderful experience reading it day by day. I share with other commenters the hopeless fantasy that some miraculous day more diary would emerge from a dusty attic. It feels so strange that it just stops. I am very sorry I missed the early years and plan to return to them next January.

Thanks again to Phil for all his wonderful work.

Tom Mazza  •  Link

It's been a rich and wonderful time. The idea to experience the diary at a day by day tempo, surrounding it with the historical context was truly brilliant.

Shirley Stallard  •  Link

I live in Shropshire, England and have been reading since the beginning.  Curiosity led me in, but  It soon became a favourite, my first read of the day, before even my emails, and I hated missing it  when I've been away from a computer on holiday, playing catch up on my return.
Thank you Phil for making it all happen and also to all the annotators for their contributions. 
I would never have read the whole diary without you and I have learned so much. I will miss your company each day.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

I haven't replied to this thread because I barely know what to say. Thank you all for the very kind words.

I just wanted to correct something Max wrote: the many annotations which he very patiently and kindly flagged weren't truncated because of Blogspot; that was on Languagehat's site. The problem here was entirely down to my own carelessness when moving databases!

Bill  •  Link

I now end my years of lurking to say thank you for this marvelous site. I found it about a week in, caught up on what I'd missed, and haven't missed a day since.

And what a read! Samuel and his observations on life, on people ("...she continues the eeriest slattern that ever I knew in my life"), and, since I'm a singer here in Chicago, on music. ("...and there find, as I expected, Mr. Hill, and Andrews, and one slovenly and ugly fellow, Seignor Pedro, who sings Italian songs to the theorbo most neatly, and they spent the whole evening in singing the best piece of musique counted of all hands in the world, made by Seignor Charissimi, the famous master in Rome. Fine it was, indeed, and too fine for me to judge of.")

Special thanks to the annotators, who made it not only a great read, but also a vital and convivial community. But most of all, thank you, thank you, Phil, for making this happen and staying with it. It has been one of the most pleasant experiences that I ever had in my life.

Evelyn Senior  •  Link

Hello from Los Angeles! I heard about the diary on public radio, and have been reading since the third week. After my college graduation in California, I lived in London in 1971. I worked in a long-since demolished Victorian building near the Temple tube station, and spent many a lunch hour exploring churches, monuments and museums in the area. I look forward to again walking those streets using the Pepys Walk by Glyn Thomas as my guide. Heartfelt thanks to Phil for this monumental undertaking, and to all the annotators who added so much to the Diary entries.

Ali  •  Link

Been reading the diary religiously from very nearly the beginning, after reading about it on slashdot. I'll miss it. Don't know when I'll have the heart to remove it from my daily bookmarks. Thanks for the ride, Phil.

Gerry  •  Link

Hello from just south of Cleveland, Ohio, USA, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Not the music Sam heard, but we are also products of our time. Thanks to sometimes poster arby, I started reading the Diary at least two years ago. So now I de-lurk just as it is ending. About a year ago I found a copy of the Diary in one volume, abridged by Isabel Ely Lord, which I have never seen mentioned here. She left out most of his work references, staying with the personal side of Sam. It helps me to catch up with what I missed from the earlier years.
Thanks to all who enlightened us with other places to enjoy and enter into Sam's world, especially those BBC radio shows from the last year.
It is time to join the Yahoo group - perhaps a get together may happen here in the Midwest. I recommend a visit to the Frazier Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, which has wonderful depictions of London before the fire and how it was re-built and expanded after.

Sjoerd Spoelstra  •  Link

Hi there, Sjoerd here from Rotterdam Holland.

Reading the diary and sometimes participating has had some very unexpected spin-offs.

- it has provided some nice stories when visiting London with my students or a group of dutch teachers...posing as a real expert in London history.

- coming over at one time for a very nice "Pepys' birthday" celebration in a south bank pub.

- reading up on all sorts of contemporary people, on your side of the water and on ours.

and my daughter Sanne will receive her masters degree in mathematics shortly, and her thesis on insurance mathematics is called "the history of death tables"...based in part on the story of John Graunts death tables that featured in the diary.

Not a lot in life that is NOT linked to one or more of these diary pages, isn't there ?

Greetings to all fellow addicts

Don Puscher  •  Link

Having started reading the Diary shortly after Phil began posting, I thought "What a commitment. My son will be in high school by the time this is finished." Now it is finished and it didn't seem that long.

Reading someone else's diary is voyeuristic, but reading the Diary online with all of you has been like watching a soap opera with a bunch of friends and taking a graduate level history class with the brightest students who know a little about everything.

Thanks to Phil and everyone that's been reading along. I hope the site spurs interest in Pepys, history in general, and in this new and wonderful form of collaboration!


Bob G  •  Link

Hello from a Brit living in the NYC area for the last 14 years. I've been lurking with a couple of posts to my name since the first month or so. I was practically a newlywed then, and we celebrate 10 years this September.

Many thanks to Phil for the immense amount of time and dedication this must have taken. Like Ali, I'll have to leave it in my bookmarks for while yet.

Steve J  •  Link

I've been lurking since the very beginning. I remember thinking what a mammoth task Phil was taking on and wondering if anyone could sustain such a commitment for nine years. Well now I have the answer. Sincere congratulations and thanks to Phil and the rest of you. You have enriched my life.

Richard Osborne  •  Link

Have been reading from Tennessee for a few years. Very appreciative of Phil's work and the knowledgeable commenters.

John Eure, Jr.  •  Link

Hello from Seattle! I've been lurking since 1662; I'd found the site earlier and passed the link on to my father (as I recalled seeing "The Shorter Pepys" on his bedside table when I was much younger), but it took me a little longer to become hooked. It's been a daily part of my life for the last seven and a half years, though.

I've been fascinated not only by Pepys's words, but also by what the contributors have done with them. Back in the early days of the Internet, some of the visionaries had what I thought were wild ideas about the communities that might one day form, but this has been the first place where I've actually felt that those visions have become real: such a mix of people, with different lives and experiences and knowledge, coming together from around the world to jointly explore a shared interest in humbling depth, motivated by nothing other than the sheer love of it.

My deepest thanks to all the contributors, and especially to Phil Gyford for making this happen in the first place. You've brought the diary to life in a way that has filled me with joy and tears.

And of course, thanks to Samuel Pepys. I would have wanted to be his friend, but I would not have wanted to be his wife (or any other woman in his general vicinity).

Ramona in Idaho  •  Link

I was introduced to Mr. Pepys in college and now own three sets of his diary beginning with Lord Braybrooke's. When L&M published the complete set I eagerly began checking them out at the library. With a baby on my kneee I couldn't always read as often, and after checking out the VII volume twice the librarian said I could not renew it, though I just had a short way to finish. I said to her,"No one has ever checked any of these volumes out before." "This is a browsing library and someone may wish to come upon it," she snarled (truly.) I, pleading, "But would they start with the 7th volume?" With a
disgusted look she picked up her big stamp and reluctantly marked renewed.
Reading it again, with all of you, made a profound difference. I feel I know Mr. Pepys more thoroughly than any other man (perhaps even my husband) because of his frank honesty. But I don't think he ever wanted anyone to see his diary. He simply forgot they were there.
One million thanks to you, Phil Gyford,
to Robert and Gay, Glyn, Australian Susan,Jeannine, Ruben, oh my, to everyone.

OzStu  •  Link

Like many others I've mainly lurked. In the early days I posted a bit but more learned commentators made my musings somewhat redundant.

How you, Phil, found the time and energy to keep the diary functioning and with its depth of quality resources when most of us struggled to even keep up with reading is beyond me - I doff my hat to you sir.

I used to visit London as a boy and the diary re-kindled my interest and encouraged me to do a Pepys walk when I visited on business from Oz - fascinating.

Thanks to all. Stu.

Mary House  •  Link

I first heard about the project on NPR and I've been reading from the start. What a pleasure it has been to step into this world every day with Pepsy as our guide. Like passing through the looking glass. How I will miss it and all of you. Thank you Phil for this great experience.

nix  •  Link

I read bits and pieces many, many years ago as a history major in college. A few years later I took an unsuccessful run at a single volume abridgement called "The Shorter Pepys" (my wife asked, "Was there a taller Pepys?").

Then, a week or two into this project I saw a note about it in a newspaper -- I took a look and was immediately hooked, starting most mornings with Samuel for the next nine-plus years.

I am a business lawyer in Arizona #retired last year from a university general counsel's office# and annotated frequently in the first couple of years when Samuel dealt with the legal, commercial and financial system of his time. I was started to discover how many of the odd practices he encountered echo still, over a span of 350 years, an ocean, and most of a continent. Since retiring I don't sit down at a computer every morning, so I got a few weeks behind during most of the past year, but with the end in sight I caught up this spring.

My thanks and best wishes to all of the folks who have traveled together on this trip into the Seventeenth Century.

Paul  •  Link

I live in Peterborough (UK). I have read the diary since the beginning and have enjoyed it very much. I have particularly enjoyed the many interesting annotations from around the world (only made a few myself). I fell behind recently (I had more time when working it seems), but I'm almost at the end now.

steve aley  •  Link

what an amazing enlightenting experience this site has been, i have followed it live for the last 4 years and has accessed all the back dated enteries with even more interest due to the more numerous annotations, it has been a massive history lesson. I purchased 3 books from a second hand junk shop 15 years ago[Arthur bryants 'the man in the making', 'saviour of the navy', and 'years of peril']and never read them until now. the insight of reading the man in the making in conjunction with the blog entries has been an absolute pleasure, thanks to you phil and all the learned annotators for giving me the perseverence to read a wonderful gem that is, the diary of samuel pepys.

John M. Nightingale  •  Link

A reader from the beginning in distant Vancouver having heard about Phil's grand idea on the B.B.C.

Phil, it is not too much to say that your forum and the scholarly observations of the learned posters among its readers have provided an education and one in the most delightful and palatable form imaginable. Restoration London over the years has been recast into three dimensions. Special mention to Terry Foreman for keeping us /au courant/ with the Royal Society and to Ruben for his posts in earlier years.

It's been nigh a decade, everybody. There is a “coming generation” out there. It's members can gain the same insight and delight as this reader if the site is begun again with the existing posts. This reader adds his voice to those who advocate running again the diary with the existing posts intact.

(How I have hungered over these last years to reach an arm out across the centuries, grab Sam by the collar, pull him back across the years and into my ophthalmologist’s office then hustle him across the street to the optometrist and finally thrust him back into 1669 with the instruction “keep at it”!)

Thanks most of all to you, Sam Pepys, for your relentless attention to the task of the diary and for your candor and introspection. /Vale, amici lectulum/.

Second Reading

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

I am a retired office-wallah* leading a blameless life in London. I started reading near the beginning of the first run through, gave up when I retired, resumed quite late when I discovered that Phil had added a daily email service and then again quite near the start for this run through which I read each evening. I am currently a week behind but catching up . .

To help settle the meaning of a word or phrase that SP intended, I post from the full online Oxford English Dictionary (which I have free access to via my public library in the UK) ‘constructed upon historical principles’: His use of English reflects his upbringing in a rural backwater as well as the modern slang of Restoration London, fast changing then as now.

Our hero is the 189th most frequently quoted source in the OED, with a total of 2018 quotations (about 0.06% of all OED quotations…). 82 quotations provide first evidence of a word and 436 of a particular meaning. I get a particular pleasure from looking up a word and finding a quote from SP, sometimes with no further elaboration. All we can say is he knew what he meant when he wrote what he did!

* . . < Hindi -wālā . . d. One carrying out a routine administrative job; a civil servant, a bureaucrat. colloq.
1965 ‘A. Nicol’ Truly Married Woman 32 There's no end to what you wallahs in the administration would do to show your damned official broadmindedness.
1974 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 7 June 7/3 Some wallahs in Canberra are sitting in air-conditioned offices telling us what has been flooded and what hasn't.

Mary Ellen  •  Link

Greetings from Illinois. I am more or less speed reading thru this diary. I find this look into history interesting and appreciate the ability to review in this modern format. Thanks to Phil and the people who add background information to help understand the meanings of the terms used in that day.

Silver Smith  •  Link

I have been reading the diary, including the annotations, straight through on a daily basis over the last 16 months and have finally come to Sam's last entry. I thank Samuel Pepys for his treasury of a diary that has allowed all of us to essentially travel back to the England of the 17th century. I only wish I had found this excellent Phil Gyford masterpiece when he first started it online. Thank you Phil for your dedication and tremendous effort in bringing Samuel Pepys Diary to this modern forum. I also want to thank all the annotators, esp. Terry, Robert, and Jeannine, for the historical expansion and details that you provided to all us readers. Sam remained the true Sam through his final entry. It was a great read and I loved every minute of it!
Luther Smith (Silver Smith)
Meridian, Mississippi
October 26, 2016

London Lynn  •  Link

I’m a born and bred Londoner who came upon this by chance. I was re-reading a paperback version and had read a couple of years when, looking something up, I found this fabulous online version. It’s taken me 7/8 Months but I may go back and re-read the years I missed. The annotations have really enhanced the read and I’m sorry that I didn’t catch it the first time round and have the chance to meet up with some of you. However, I retired in June 2012 and now have time on my hands to really enjoy the read - aided by the enforced lockdown as a result of COVID-19. Once life returns to normal I hope to do my own Pepys’ tour. Thank you one and all.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Hi -- I was born outside London, went to school in Sussex, college and first jobs were in Torquay, Devon, I lived in London for 3 years, escaped to New York, where I stayed for 3 years before venturing to San Francisco, and have spent the last 40 years exploring California. Mostly employed in sales and P.R., I ended up as the Marketing Vice President for an on-line start up funding exports. An unusually high percentage of the men in my life were in the Navy from both sides of the Atlantic.

I see I never signed in; which isn't surprising. I was looking for a free hobby I could do from home, where I couldn't fail, no one would be let down if I stopped for a few days, and would challenge me. As a history buff, a newspaper article sent me here. The second round was in progress.
For months I lurked, until there was a question about Charles II's laboratory, and I knew I had read an answer in a biography of Sir Robert Moray.
Pepys [and Phil and Terry] have given me a go-to place for my imagination through my husband's last illness; a bout of cancer; PTSD; two California fires; watching a drunk driver demolish my garage and laundry room; my dog slipping a disc in his neck; a president with many Charles I and II tendencies; and a pandemic.
And we still haven't finished round two and I then need to go back and read the first three years.
Enough on the real life challenges.

It hasn't been all bad: this summer I was gifted a complete set of L&M books and other Pepys' related history books by Jeannine, which I am enjoying and will share when I find nuggets. It was Christmas in August.

The annotations add perspective, not only to The Diary but to real life. Pepys' Diary has exceeded my expectations, and I thank everyone for hours of constructive play with friends. Phil's idea was genius. His perseverance for 20 years is magnificent.

RSGII  •  Link

Phil, and the others who shared their expertise, thanks for educating me for the last 7 or 8 years.
I had read the diary for 1666 before I discovered your site and its wonderful and illuminating annotations from an obviously learned group.
As an ex US Naval Officer, department head (Chief Engineering Officer) on an ancient WWII US Navy Destroyer in the far east in my early post University years, I perhaps bring a slightly different perspective on Pepys incredible career transforming an ad hoc campaign Navy to a professional organization. Some forget that the Navy was the largest organization in Britain at the time, and he was effectively the Chief Administrative Officer and Logistician (Not the war maker or tactician). And logistics is what wins wars.
But what I most appreciate about Pepys is his understanding of how the world really works, with all its imperfections and petty infighting, with honorable people and venal people, with effective governments and ineffective ones. All seen with a dash if insight and humor.
I spent 40 years as, first a junior, and then a senior international civil servant trying to help governments with the problems and policies of economic development and Pepys gets how things really work better than almost anyone.
His peccadillos are amusing and his candid self observations amazing, but what matters is he gets things done.
Thanks again for an enjoyable ride.

LKvM  •  Link

Greetings to all from retirement in the NOLA French Quarter. LKvM here, as Linda Kay van Marjenhoff, which is the older version of my name, Linda Kay Hoff. I have also commented occasionally as Batch, in memory of my husband, Jimmy Batchelor.
I have a Ph.D. in German literature (Northwestern Univ., 1980), but in my study of German I noted a certain 19th-century German obsession with Hamlet's indecision that blended with my abiding interest in all things Shakespearean and caused me to write a new historicism treatment of *Hamlet* called *Hamlet's Choice*.
It may have been a note referring to Sam's opinion of *Hamlet* that led me to discover this blog in about 2008. I followed it daily from then until October 2011, when I stopped because my husband committed suicide.
I didn't take the diary up again until its second iteration began, when I finally read the diary's exciting beginning, then re-read all through the middle, and now, in August 2021, am approaching the end for the first time.
It has been a delight. I second the motions to have Sam posthumously knighted and to have Phil knighted as well. Thank you, Phil and all the annotators, for a wonderful trip!

Mary K  •  Link

(formerly tagged just as Mary)
I'm still here, too, and have been since almost the beginning of the "first edition". The big question is, of course, will Phil have the time and the stamina to take us into a third edition? I really hope so as I, like many others I'm sure, continue to learn so much from this blog and from my fellow annotators, both their own observations and not least from their recommendations for further reading and research. My sincere thanks to all Pepysians, both past and present, but most of all to Phil himself. Little did he know what he was starting so many years ago.

Mary K  •  Link

Sorry, forgot to add any background material. Most academic time spent on development of the English language from Anglo-Saxon through Middle Eng. and modern Eng. plus primarily Old and ME literature. Pushed Eng. Lit. as far as the first half of the 17th century, but very gappy thereafter. English born and bred, but spent 30 years following husband to SE Asia, Central America, West Africa and parts of Europe. If only we had had the internet for most of that time, what a difference it would have made to life. A joy in retirement, though.

john  •  Link

Greetings, All, from a farm in middle Ontario, Canada. I heard of this wonderful site from a colleague (when I was still in the software industry). I was unable to follow the first iteration in its entirety -- "life got in the way". I bought L&M and my habit, this second time around, is to read the L&M entry first and then the comments. Born in Ontario and studied mostly math (or maths, if you prefer), sideways after my doctorate, and finally retired (sort of). My thanks to all the commentators, who have greatly enriched my understanding of the diary and its environment, often offering interesting insights into human nature. I look forward to a third iteration.


This is Gus Spier. I believe I started following the diary 'way back, early in the first iteration of this noble endeavor. I've fallen on and off the Pepys wagon several times since then. I retired from the US Air Force in 1995 and started my second career in IT shortly thereafter. I'm located in semi-rural Northern Virginia.

All respect and honor to Phil for this noble task.

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