Pepys and his Contemporaries


Publication Date: September 2015
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 978 1 8551 4585 6

Format: 197 x 140mm
Extent: 120pp to 136pp
Illustrations: 40 to 75 per title
Binding: Paperback with flaps
Category: Literary/Art/History
Word count:

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The National Portrait Gallery’s series of compact, fully illustrated, historical guides to literary and artistic personalities and themes. Written by well-known contemporary authors, they examine the lives, thoughts and relationships within each selected group through works from the Gallery’s Collection.


Pepys and his Contemporaries by Richard Ollard

Samuel Pepys’s Diary is an indisputable treasure of English literature. As a picture of England, and especially of London, in the age of King Charles II, Wren, Newton, Nell Gwyn, the Plague and the Great Fire, it is a rare and honest report that charts the key events of the day. In this book, Richard Ollard introduces the man himself, his friends and acquaintances – including Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, Charles II and John Evelyn – who Pepys wrote about with such humour and abandon. Illustrated with painted portraits, busts, engravings, and an extract from the Diary in Pepys’s original shorthand, this is a highly visual book that charts those men and women who surrounded Pepys.


Richard Ollard was an English historian and biographer, and the author of several books about Pepys and the English Restoration period including Pepys: A Biography, The Escape of Charles II, The Image of the King and Man of War. Ollard joined the Navy during the Second World War and he went on to teach history at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich in London. In 1998 he was joint winner of the Heywood Hill Prize for a lifetime’s contribution to the pleasure of reading. He was an honorary member of the Samuel Pepys Club.