Gillian Darley

Jousts on Paper

The Letters of Samuel Pepys

By

Boydell 296pp £25 order from our bookshop

When Samuel Pepys kept copies of his letters they were always exactly as sent; John Evelyn, his constant correspondent, copied out an appropriate selection of his, having given them a polish, presumably in the hope that they would be viewed as models of the epistolary art by successive generations. This, like the fundamental difference between their respective diaries, one so frank and spontaneous, the other so circumspect and considered, helps us understand the differences in aspiration and personality between the two men, devoted friends as they were for some forty years. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter