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PEPYS, Samuel.


Comprising his Diary from 1659 to 1669, deciphered by John Smith of St. John's College, Cambridge, from the Original Short-hand MS in the Pepysian Library, and a Selection from his Private Correspondence. Edited by Richard, Lord Braybrooke.

London, Henry Colburn, 1825 Stock Code: 116143
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First edition of this key historical record of Restoration London, which remained unprinted for more than 150 years after its original composition. The text was painstakingly deciphered from Pepys's shorthand by a penniless student who did not realise that the manual for the system, Thomas Shelton's Tutor to Tachygraphy (1642), was easily accessible in his own college library. Pepys's diary is the chief source for our knowledge of day-to-day life in Restoration London, but it is much more than just a record of quotidian life: "As a diarist he is simply the best there was, with the good fortune to be close to the centre of momentous events" (ODNB).

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2 volumes, large quarto. Uncut in original drab paper boards, printed paper labels to spines. Each volume housed in a custom blue cloth solander box with gilt-lettered spine.


Engraved portrait frontispiece after Godfrey Kneller, 12 plates including portraits, genealogies, facsimiles and views, of which one double-page, all with tissue-guards; engraved vignette portrait to volume 1 p. xv, similar vignette of the "Loving Cup" t


Volume 1: c20 book-label of collector Perry Molstad to front pastedown, joints cracked but holding, small mark to front board, pale spotting to sigs. C-3N and a few small nicks and chips to edges, as usual in untrimmed books, slightly longer closed tear to fore edge of sig. 2N2, the text unaffected, sig. b4 browned in fore margin, the vignette spared, small mark to lower margin of Index p. xxii. Volume 2: contemporary ownership inscription of ?William Beebey to front pastedown, covers slightly marked overall, extremities rubbed, tips lightly bumped, superficial splitting to front joint, p. 282 very slightly marked, else internally clean. Box joints split and frayed. Withal a very good copy, entirely unrestored in its original binding.


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