This has been a busy week for Pepysiana and for Magdalene.
First, the College hosted a wonderful visit to the National Maritime Museum to see Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution. This began with a talk from Robert Blyth, who has curated this extraordinary exhibition.
Robert picked out some highlights of the displays and gave an absorbing account of Pepys’s life, from his operation for the removal of a bladder-stone to refusing to swear allegiance to William and Mary. Then members of College and our guests were able to look round, spotting as we went the transcripts of the Diaries made by the Rev. John Smith in the 1820s which are on loan from Magdalene College; and finishing towards the end of the exhibition with the magnificent Harwich portrait of Pepys, distinctively Pepysian its inclusion of a small table bearing books and sealed papers, a little glimpse of the harbour defences, and two ships sailing in the distance.
And in the current TLS (18th March), Kate Loveman’s splendid book on Pepys and his reading habits Samuel Pepys and His Books heads up a mammoth review of recent interest in the diarist, which also features the recent, lavish Scala publication, The Pepys Library and the Historic Collections of Magdalene College, by M E J Hughes, the Pepys Librarian.
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In his lead review Arnold Hunt draws attention to how Pepys saw his library and his attitude to collecting. This theme will be taken further in our inaugural lecture for the Friends of the Pepys Library which will be given by Professor James Raven in November.
For information about the Friends of the Pepys Library, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The new books mentioned are available from bookshops and the usual on line suppliers. The Scala book on the library is also available to visitors in person at the College: RRP £14.95.